Christopher Nolan responds to "emotionless" criticisms

Christopher Nolan has made a career out of making complex thrillers and stimulating blockbusters, and these movies have won him acclaim making him one of the top directors working today. But he has his dissenters, and of those who criticize his work tend to label his films as “emotionless.” Of course the director disagrees with the notion, and has spoken up to defend his work.

Speaking with Playboy, the director was asked to respond to the criticism about his movies, and Nolan would go on to say he believes in taking a more subtle approach to what audiences may consider “tear-jerking” moments, as opposed to serving it up so blatantly on a silver platter:

I try not to be obvious about it. That gives people a little more freedom to interpret the movies their way, bring what they want to it. I've had people write about my films as being emotionless, yet I have screened those same movies and people have been in floods of tears at the end. It's an impossible contradiction for a filmmaker to resolve. In truth, it's one of the things that is really exciting about filmmaking though. I seem to be making films that serve as Rorschach tests.

Though I would agree movies like MEMENTO, INSOMNIA, THE PRESTIGE and even BATMAN BEGINS aren’t exactly ripe with heartfelt moments, there are plenty of gripping, emotional moments in movies like THE DARK KNIGHT (the death of Rachel), INCEPTION (anything having to do with DiCaprio’s family) and especially INTERSTELLAR. The latter has plenty of moments that push the tear levees of anyone watching it to the limit, with mine breaking several times. Like he said, his movies are sort of like Rorschach tests, each one allowing audiences to take away from them what they will.

To Nolan’s point what some may consider heartfelt and what others consider emotionally vacant is up to the beholder. Someone may watch INTERSTELLAR and need a box of tissues, while others see it as forced and ineffective. Like all critiques of someone’s work it’s just one person’s opinion, and has no root in fact. Some may appreciate Nolan’s less direct style, while others prefer the approach of, say, MARLEY AND ME, which gets you in with a loving family, a cute puppy and a tragic ending. Whatever floats your boat, and happens to float my boat are the tears that come out of me when I think about the ending of MARLEY.

Catch Nolan's DUNKIRK in theaters July 21.

Source: Playboy



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