Let's Chat: Interstellar

Interstellar, Christopher Nolan (2014)

Poised as one of the biggest hits for this Christmas alongside the new instalment for The Hunger Games series, Mockingjay and the final Hobbit, which are both clearly in a different line of film genre to Nolan's latest adventure, Interstellar has generated quite the conversation. I can understand (at least a little) why people aren't so thrilled with Interstellar, especially with the film often being advertised to be from the director of The Dark Knight Trilogy, which of course, it is, but there's so much more to Christopher Nolan and his films than that particular trilogy. The trilogy is incredible, and a definite favourite in my film library, but I also want to give a little of my thoughts as to why Interstellar is a perfect example of Nolan's true, epic film style.

Firstly, Interstellar can be classified as the third instalment of Nolan's "Memento Mori" trilogy, which combines his study of ephemerality and mortality that all started with the mesmerising Memento (2000), and was further explored through Inception (2010), with a focus on the deep subconscious. Which is why Nolan stands as one of my ultimate favourite original filmmakers. The exploration of the mind and the possibilities of science are so perfectly suited to film that everything just works when it's put to the screen.

Now, without giving too much away, Interstellar is based in a somewhat near future, where the human population is forced to become an agrarian society and scientists, physicists and engineers, such as our main character Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) to name a few high-powered professions, are required to put their skills into farming the land. Essentially, the world we know is becoming uninhabitable and a small underground company, known as NASA, form a scientific expedition to find another habitable planet for the human race to survive on. This is all made possible by a wormhole that leads the crew to another galaxy and another solar system. 

Nolan is clearly interested in a form of interdimensionality, like we've seen with Inception and the exploration of levels in the subconscious and all the possibilities that can be found there. This seems to allow certain critics to find plot holes and structural problems within the film, which usually seem to be the only bad thing they have to say about the film. Here I take pause to give you a few words by Nolan himself on the subject:

"My films are always held to a weirdly high standard for those 
issues that [aren't] applied to everybody else's films - which I'm 
fine with. People are always accusing my films of having plot 
holes, and I'm very aware of the plot holes in my films"

With the release of Inception, people were at the ready to find as many plot holes as they could rather than focusing on what Nolan is really creating. Personally, Nolan is one of the key makers of cathartic film and truly enforces escapism in the best possible way. Nolan takes film back to its roots, he keeps his films original and gives his audience a universe that they can believe in wholly, if they allow themselves to. We're unlikely to see critics complaining of the plot holes in the countless sequels we're witnessing at the moment, it's almost as though we don't know what to do with an original film when it's posited right in front of us.

Interstellar was seminal for me. The film solidified my true love of Nolan's directorial style. The visual, cinematic experience was (obviously) impressive, I mean, we're in space for majority of the film, and naturally, there will always be something so captivating, but also somewhat terrifying, about space and the abyss that is always right at our front door. Furthermore, there's the incredible amalgamation of sound. Not only through the brilliantly crafted score, by none other than Nolan's resident artist, Hans Zimmer (a god when it comes to scoring a film, a tip my hat to you sir), but also through the sheer force of diegetic sound that envelops you in the theatre. As I was leaving the theatre after watching the final words score upward into nothingness on the black screen, I couldn't even fathom what I had just seen, all I knew was that it was amazing, a real reflection on what a film is meant to be. Interstellar leaves (most) gimmicks behind (I'll ignore the whole 'love' as a scientific force, for now) and gives you an epic to be remembered for all the right reasons.

When it comes to viewing Interstellar, I give you one very important piece of advice, let the universe that Nolan has created take a firm hold of your imagination, and let yourself get lost in this amazing world that for all we know, could be our distant future. Allow yourself some true escapism, don't think, let the film think for you, and just follow this adventure from beginning to end.



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