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Memento: The Inception Of Nolan

Stashed in: Star Wars!, Mission, Are You Not Entertained?, Batman!, Inception!, Morals, Christopher Nolan

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The parallels between Leonard Shelby and Nolan’s incarnation of Bruce Wayne (or, indeed, those comics that inspired the team’s interpretation) are clear to see. Both men are driven by a profoundly traumatic event, dragging them forward and giving them purpose. However, it also serves as a roadblock. Neither man can move forward while their obsessions stand in their way. For both, the question remains as to whether this event really is a driver or instead an enabler. Their chosen quests unleash the more morally shady and obsessive aspects of the characters.

The conclusion of MEMENTO shows Leonard Shelby has – even if he can’t recall it – chosen to construct a reality for himself. To hide from his real pain and give himself a purpose. This is something that has been placed in the murky psychological background of Nolan’s Batman. Never has this concept been more loudly echoed in his other work, though, than in INCEPTION – almost a blockbuster reimagining of some of MEMENTO’s main themes. Although great debate has raged over whether the final spinning top falls or not, this entirely misses the point. Having walked away from it already, Cobb has created and accepted his reality in just the same way Wayne and Shelby have. Nolan’s male leads (the possible gaping hole in his oeuvre is arguably a compelling female equivalent), including Al Pacino’s Dormer in the remake of INSOMNIA, are invariably obsessives living inside their own heads; seeking out their purpose with all-consuming single-mindedness – revenge or redemption.


I don't necessarily agree with much of this, but it provides a fascinating perspective on Christopher Nolan and his body of work.

I agree that Nolan's common theme is protagonists obsessed with something all-consuming.

And how they bend their realities to serve their obsessions.

I think Ariadne/Mal/Selina/ are great counterpart female leads, so to speak. Rachel in Batman begins.

Can you imagine a Jedi-based trilogy around the themes of obsession and bending reality?

Otherwise, it would be hard for Nolan to take on Star Wars under Disney.

It is my sense people want a grittier Star Wars; either a re-imaginging of the first three episodes, or a new trilogy based on the SW canon.

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