Christopher Nolan: Director or Something More?

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Michael Bergonzi
Mr. Shafer
Film as Literature
18 December 2008
Christopher Nolan: Director or Something More
Director Christopher Nolan has made a total of six feature films, including the ever popular Memento (2000) and The Dark Knight (2008). People who are merely fans say that he is an auteur. Film majors, however, disagree and believe that he doesn’t have enough movies out and that he is just good in relation to box office results and should not be considered an auteur. I have to disagree with the people who say Nolan is not an auteur. The Auteur theory states that when a director has reached a level where he, or she, has a “stamp” on all his films, he is considered an auteur. The road a director must take is to have his, or her, personal vision, style and thematic obsession imprinted in all their films. Christopher Nolan fits the bill in all these realms of auteurship. Another definition of the auteur theory is “whoever controls the mise en scene is an auteur. This person is also known as the “metteur en scene” which means person who controls the mise en scene. I can see why people think he is not an auteur, only because he was the screenwriter and producer for a lot of films he directed. Citizen Kane, one of the greatest masterpieces in the realm of cinema ever, you probably heard that it was directed, written and starred Orson Welles. Mr. Welles is, without a doubt, an auteur. So why do people assume that Nolan is not an auteur? In order to see his auteurship you have to, like a lot of his movies, think outside of the box, because almost everything great in the world isn’t that easy to find in the first place. Memento, The Prestige and The Dark Knight are all great films, not just because of the box office results, but because of the direction that Nolan took in the cinematic, dramatic and literary realms of those films. The unique qualities that make Nolan an auteur are that, for most of his movies: the stories are told in reverse. With...
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