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Our critic has been awarded an OBE for services to film. Here he reflects on a life of cinema and chooses extracts from five of his movie reviews
Casting my mind back to my Observer debut, it occurred to me that, had I been celebrating half a century of writing on films for the paper in 1963, I would have been reflecting on a career begun by reviewing the arrival of Charlie Chaplin and going on to Dw Griffith's Birth of a Nation. But the Observer didn't have a movie critic until the mid-1920s, when the Honourable Ivor Montagu (a peer's son, table tennis champion, lifelong communist, the man who saved Hitchcock's bacon by re-editing The Lodger) joined the paper. He was succeeded in 1928 by the Manchester Guardian's critic, CA Lejeune, who helped create the view widely held in Fleet Street that reviewing films was women's work. Indeed, her first »
- Philip French
Following Directed by: Christopher Nolan Written by: Christopher Nolan Starring: Jeremy Theobald, Alex Haw, Lucy Russell Christopher Nolan's brand of high brow blockbuster filmmaking has certainly shaped the landscape of quality populist cinema. He single handedly revived the Batman franchise and in the process, formed a style guide which is regularly referenced by his peers in an attempt to emulate his successful recipe. Years before the Bwwwoooommmmm Inception sound rewrote modern day marketing, Nolan wrote and directed 'Following', filmed in black and white and shot on weekends with his film school friends. It's an impressive first feature that isn't without its problems. The film stars Jeremy Theobald as an unemployed, unnamed writer who follows strangers in hopes to find inspiration for his first novel. One of his targets, a young man in a dark suit, calls him out on his unusual brand of research and a strange relationship is formed. »
- Jay C.
Feature Luke Savage Dec 28, 2012
Our clamber through the 10 finest films of the year continues with The Dark Knight Rises. Luke explains why it's one of our favourites...
Over the past few weeks, Den Of Geek writers have been voting for the films of the year. In fourth place is Christopher Nolan's conclusion to his Dark Knight trilogy. It might have divided audiences a little, but it's the kind of film that a second viewing does the world of good for...
4th place: The Dark Knight Rises
There was a lot riding on The Dark Knight Rises. Just ask yourself this: when was the last time a film carried so many expectations on its broad, caped shoulders?
Over the last decade, Christopher Nolan has established himself as one of the most noteworthy mainstream directors working in the industry, mostly due to the unprecedented cultural impact of his three entries in the Batman series (but not to mention high functioning works of originality at the multiplex, such as 2010’s Inception). His penchant for labyrinthine narrative structure and chronological confusion date back to his delightfully well made feature debut, Following, winning the top prize at the 1999 Rotterdam Film Festival, exploring themes and motifs he would closely mirror in his significantly successful follow-up, Memento. A no budget neo-noir, Criterion restores Nolan’s debut from a new digital transfer, making this edition the definitive way to experience an exciting beginning to a fascinating talent.
We meet a young man (Jeremy Theobald), narrating a story to a stranger that quickly seems to take on ominous dimensions. An aspiring writer, it turns out »
- Nicholas Bell
Academy Award-winning cinematographer and regular Christopher Nolan collaborator Wally Pfister - who has worked with Nolan on Memento, Insomnia, Batman Begins, The Prestige, The Dark Knight, Inception and The Dark Knight Rises - will make his directorial debut in 2014 with the mysterious sci-fi Transcendence, which is set to star Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean, The Lone Ranger). Plot details have been kept tightly under wraps, but thanks to The Wrap, we now have an idea of what to expect from the upcoming project.
According to Andrew Kosove (The Blind Side), who will produce alongside Christopher Nolan and his wife Emma Thomas, Transcendence centres on "three scientists, Max and the husband and wife team of Will [Depp] and Evelyn, who have been developing a programming code for the world’s first fully self-aware computer. A group of anti-technology terrorists assassinate Will, and Evelyn uploads his brain into a prototype supercomputer. Although »
Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD and Digital Release Date: Feb. 12, 2013
Price: DVD $29.98, Blu-ray/DVD Combo $34.98, Blu-ray 3D Combo $49.98
The second horror movie based on the cult videogame, Silent Hill: Revelation returns to the chilling alternate reality of the first film.
Adelaide Clemens (Camilla Dickenson) stars in the movie as Heather Mason, whose father (Sean Bean, Death Race 2) has kept her one step ahead of the malevolent forces intent on their destruction. On the eve of her 18th birthday, however, a revelation leads her deep into the demonic world, which threatens to trap her in a nightmarish landscape forever.
Silent Hill: Revelation grossed $17.5 million, less than its 2006 predecessor, which earned $47 million in theaters. »
The Wrap has reported that Johnny Depp is confirmed to play the lead in Transcendence, a movie about a man who attempts to infuse a machine with human intellect. (Or, as producer Andrew Kosove puts it, “It is true Johnny Depp’s brain is uploaded into a computer.”) Transcendence will mark the directorial debut of the unfortunately named Wally Pfister, a veteran cinematographer who's worked with Christopher Nolan on every one of his films since Memento. Nolan himself will executive produce from a script by first-time screenwriter Jack Paglen. The script is still being developed, but it sounds so »
The second trailer hit for Superman: Man of Steel and this one has a lot more meat to it and may give us more confidence in it going in. Watch it below.
Click here to view the embedded video.
The initial set of teasers were cryptic, starting with iconic imagery of Henry Cavill who is playing Superman/Kal-El/Clark. Making it even more mysterious were scenes of laundry hung, drying in the wind, a bearded Clark Kent working on a fishing boat, and later hitchhiking. Initial reactions were spread across the board ranging from confusion to guarded excitement. One of the teasers featured a voice over from Russell Crowe (as Jor-El) inspired from Grant Morrisson’s award-winning story, All-Star Superman (a 12-part stand-alone story that covered all of the wonderful eras and aspects of Superman perfectly–every Superman fan should read it). Despite mixed reviews, the teaser created mystery surrounding the reboot, »
- Ernie Estrella
Warning: Spoilers for Nolan’s films ahead!
The best directors deliver an experience that goes beyond the product being sold to you. They dedicate themselves to their craft, and in doing so put their own personal stamp on it. This infuses their films with their personal sensibilities; delivering to the audience a work that is easily identified as theirs. Over time, as a director’s body of work grows, keen audiences can identify certain themes, tropes, and character motivations common to that director’s style. Such directors include Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Darren Aronofsky, Peter Jackson, and Ridley Scott, to name but a random few. Now, with seven full films under his belt, it is safe to say that Christopher Nolan falls into this category as well.
- Brandon Jacobs
Christopher Nolan is a hard man to track down, but after some patience and persistence, we were lucky enough to sit down with the (to name just a few) "Memento," "Prestige" and "Inception" director at length to discuss "The Dark Knight Rises," his debut feature film "Following" and much more about his lauded Batman trilogy. You can read all that right here in part one of our talk, and continue with us as we dug deeper with Nolan into the mythology of his Batman films and his process for putting the pieces of his entire series together, all of which we've presented in a part two below. This week sees "The Dark Knight Rises," the closing chapter in his Gotham-based trilogy, arrive on home video, and whether you've seen it already or are waiting to pop it into your DVD or Blu-ray player, Nolan's thoughts are a solid primer »
- Rodrigo Perez
“My memory of it was I had just finished Master and Commander  and I waited another couple of weeks [in Los Angeles] for an interview with Chris [Nolan who was in London at the time] because my agent had inquired as to whether they would meet me for the film,” recalls film editor Lee Smith as to how he became associated with Batman Begins (2005). “Very uncharacteristic of my good self I decided to wait. It was costing me a lot of money to stay here, my home awaited in Australia and I had been gone a long time; I was keen to get back to it. I met with Chris and we chatted away for quite some time. I eventually said I had to go because I had to go pick up my kids from somewhere. »
by Vadim Rizov
The overriding theme of Christopher Nolan's movies is a gloss on Guns 'N Roses: "Use your illusion." Guy Pierce's self-deluding Memento protagonist precedes Al Pacino's cop in Insomnia, whose titular sleeplessness makes it similarly impossible for him to separate truth from paranoid misperception. The Prestige places illusion front and center as a tale of dueling magicians, while Inception concerns implanting false memories to achieve desirable results. This interest extends to Nolan's Batman trilogy: not so much Batman Begins, but certainly The Dark Knight, in which the Caped Crusader agrees to let Gotham City think he's the bad guy for their own protection.
The Dark Knight Rises considers the fallout from following Axl Rose's advice. At its opening, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has entered his Howard Hughes recluse stage. His preoccupation during recent years has been developing a nuclear fusion project designed to provide cheap, »
Looking to get something for nothing without all the hassle of, well, stealing it?
With our "Lawless" giveaway, you can get the loot whilst still remaining a law-abiding citizen. One lucky winner will receive a "Lawless" DVD, the "Lawless" soundtrack CD (by Nick Cave) and the original "Lawless" novel by Matt Bondurant.
"Lawless" tells the tale of Jack (Shia Labeouf), Forrest (Tom Hardy) and Howard Bondurant (Jason Clarke), Virginia bootleggers trying to make a buck by getting people drunk during the Great Depression. Their livelihood — and their lives — are soon threatened when their endeavors get the attention of a half-mad federal agent (Guy Pearce, pulling out all the stops).
Really, where else are you going to see Bane, Sam Witwicky, Sirius Black (Gary Oldman's in it, too), the evil kid from "Chronicle" (Dane DeHaan) and the no short term memory guy from "Memento" all wearing suspenders, driving vintage cars »
- NextMovie Staff
Directed by Sam Mendes.
Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.
Warning: Some Spoilers follow!
Let's start by the bucking the trend of unanimous praise and addressing Skyfall's major flaw. Is there a truly jaw dropping action sequence? Yes, many of you will sharply reply, have you not seen the pre-titles sequence? It's certainly true that the early action in Istanbul is impressive, exotic and engaging. You cannot get more outrageous and dazzling than that digger sequence on the train. There is also plenty of variety, with the action hurtling along from shadowy apartment, to four wheeled and two wheeled pursuit, »
- Liam Trim
The general movie going public likely does not know the name of Wally Pfister, but if you are on this site you probably recognize who that is instantly. For those of you who don't, Pfister is the cinematographer behind the classic films The Granny, The Italian Job, and Moneyball. Oh, and he has also shot the Christopher Nolan films Memento, Insomnia, The Prestige, Inception, and all three of The Dark Knight trilogy. While he may be synonymous with the visual style that we associate with »
- Alex Maidy
Christian Bale has worked with Christopher Nolan four times in the last decade, on three Batman movies and The Prestige, and every time Wally Pfister has been right there with them. Pfister has been Nolan's go-to cinematographer since Memento, and surely Pfister and Bale have had plenty of time to bond on their own over the course of shooting four giant movies. Now Pfister is cashing in on that bond, with Bale now yet another big-name star eyed to take part in Pfister's directorial debut, Transcendence. Yes, this is the same project we were reporting on yesterday that is apparently paying Johnny Depp a fortune to get on board. The Los Angeles Times reports that there are in fact three lead roles, and that Bale "has apparently been in Pfister's sights" for one of them-- though that's far, far from any confirmation that he'll take part. The Times article is »
It was a depressing day when Wes Anderson confirmed that Johnny Depp would not be appearing in The Grand Budapest Hotel. But never fear, this is not an announcement concerning Pirates of the Caribbean 15: Captain Jack in Space. Rather, Johnny Depp has now been confirmed to star in Transcendence, the directorial debut of The Dark Knight Rises‘ director of photography Wally Pfister.
The announcement of the sci-fi feature comes to us via First Showing. Transcendence has been described as being in the vein of 2001: A Space Odyssey and Inception; although I must admit that I don’t particularly think that those two films are comparable.
Depp will play a husband who gets sucked into a computer with malevolent awareness. Right. That does sound like 2001. Or The Matrix. Or Tron. Or … almost any other cyberpunk movie ever.
To return to the exciting part: Johnny Depp will be headlining a »
- Lauren Humphries-Brooks
Wally Pfister is a name that might not be known by everyone, but he’s certainly an artist whose work everyone has seen. Pfister has been working as a camera operator since the late ’80s, and has regularly been getting gigs as a Director of Photography since the early 2000s. He is, however, primarily known as the Dp that Christopher Nolan uses on all his features. This is the guy who shot Memento, who got nominated for cinematography Oscars for Batman Begins, The Prestige, and The Dark Knight, and who finally won one for Inception. To say that he knows how to shoot a scene would be a bit of an understatement. But now he’s ready to take a more hands on approach to all of the other aspects of filmmaking, by taking his first crack at directing a feature. His first project, Transcendence, comes from a script by newcomer Jack Paglen and has been developed »
- Nathan Adams
If you spend time following the business side of film, then one of the people whose career you may have been paying attention toward is cinematographer Wally Pfister. Pfister has been the director of photography for Christopher Nolan throughout his career, from Memento right through The Dark Knight Rises. Pfister won an Oscar for his photography for Nolan's Inception.
The cinematographer had announced his intentions to make the leap from behind the camera to calling the shots as a full-fledged director on a mystery project. Now details about that secretive movie are finally known, including the involvement of the picture's principal actor, none other than Johnny Depp.
The movie is called Transcendence and it's in the genre of science fiction, compared by THR to the likes of the aforementioned Inception as well as 2001: A Space Odyssey. It's about a computer that develops intelligence and then hatred before bringing a »
- Patrick Sauriol
The feature debut for Christopher Nolan's longtime cinematographer Wally Pfister (The Dark Knight, Memento, Inception) is beginning to come together, and it's quickly shaping up to be quite the anticipated film. Deadline reports that Johnny Depp is now in negotiations to star in the movie, which will be called Transcendence. This is the first time the title of the film has been revealed, and while the plot is under wraps -- save for recent comments from Pfister saying it'll be a "present-day science-fiction film, a fairly big concept." -- THR's Borys Kit reveals it's being described as "2001 meets Inception," and that's it's about "a man who creates a computer that develops a malevolent awareness. Depp will play a husband who...
- Erik Davis
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