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The Exacting, Expansive Mind of Christopher Nolan

The Exacting Expansive Mind of Christopher Nolan NYTimes com


Part of the reason his work has done so well at the box office is that his audience members — and not just his fans, but his critics — find themselves watching his movies twice, or three times, bleary-eyed and shivering in their dusky light, hallucinating wheels within wheels and stopping only to blog about the finer points. These blogs pose questions along the lines of “If the fact that the white van is in free-fall off the bridge in the first dream means that, in the second dream, there’s zero gravity in the hotel, then why is there still normal gravity in the third dream’s Alpine fortress?????

Most people, of course, don’t take their Nolaniana to such extremes. But there are enthusiasts out there who lose themselves to the limbo of Nolan’s expansive, febrile imagination. The IMDB F.A.Q. about the meaning of the end of “Inception” makes “Infinite Jest” look like a pamphlet on proper toaster installation. The Internet has become lousy with intersecting wormholes tunneled by warring pro-Nolan factions.

That his films manage to be both mainstream blockbusters and objects of such cult appeal is what makes Nolan a singular, and singularly admired, figure in Hollywood. 

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I myself wondered how the Alpine fortress could have normal gravity. Oy, the plot holes!!

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