A Critical Companion to Christopher Nolan provides a wide-ranging exploration of Christopher Nolan's films, practices, and collaborations. From a range of critical perspectives, this volume examines Nolan's body of work, explores its industrial and economic contexts, and interrogates the director's auteur status. This volume contributes to the scholarly debates on Nolan and includes original essays that examine all his films including his short films. It is structured into three sections that deal broadly with themes of narrative and time; collaborations and relationships; and ideology, politics, and genre. The authors of the sixteen chapters include established Nolan scholars as well as academics with expertise in approaches and perspectives germane to the study of Nolan's body of work. To these ends, the chapters employ intersectional, feminist, political, ideological, narrative, economic, aesthetic, genre, and auteur analysis in addition to perspectives from star theory, short film theory, performance studies, fan studies, adaptation studies, musicology, and media industry studies.
Isabelle Labrouillère is lecturer in performing arts and film aesthetics at the ENSAV (Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’AudioVisuel), Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès.
Claire Parkinson is professor of culture, communication, and screen studies at Edge Hill University.
SECTION 1: NARRATIVE AND TIME
Chapter 1. Precursor to the Puzzle: Narrational Strategies in Following
Chapter 2. ‘We Need Mirrors to Remind Ourselves of Who We Are’: Anamorphosis and the Singularity of Mirror Motifs in Christopher Nolan’s Memento (2000)
Chapter 3. The Prestige, From Text to Screen: Transformation, Manipulation, Reflexivity
Chapter 4. The Trauma Chronotype in Nolan’s Dunkirk and Inception: Time, Space and Trauma
Chapter 5. Back From the Future: Tenet and the Politics of Nachträglichkeit
SECTION 2: COLLABORATIONS AND RELATIONSHIPS
Chapter 6. “There’s a Point Where We Just Let the Music Take Over Everything”: The Collaboration of Christopher Nolan and Hans Zimmer”
Chapter 7. A “Virtual Carte Blanche”: Christopher Nolan, Warner. Bros., and Authorial Power in Contemporary Hollywood
Kimberly A. Owczarski
Chapter 8. Transnational Filmmaker, Fanboy-Auteur: Screening Nolan’s Inception in China
Chapter 9. Fractured Men and Cockney Boy: Michael Caine as Star Persona in the films of Christopher Nolan
Chapter 10. Christopher Nolan and the Quays: Curation, Fandom and the Filmmaker
SECTION 3: POLITICS, IDEOLOGY AND GENRE
Chapter 11. Situating Christopher Nolan’s Ideological Use of Technology: Between Romanticism and Posthumanism
Chapter 12. Dark Vision, Global Impact: Christopher Nolan, Box Office Hit Patterns, and Interstellar
Chapter 13. Mementos of the Afternoon: Christopher Nolan’s Ambiguous Debt to Maya Deren
Chapter 14. “Some Men Just Want to Watch the World Burn”: The Politics of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy
Chapter 15. The Experimental Short Films of Christopher Nolan
Chapter 16. Catwoman in All But Name: Gender and Adaptation in Christopher Nolan’s Selina Kyle
Claire Parkinson and Isabelle Labrouillère’s collection successfully brings incisive analyses of Christopher Nolan’s auteur status and trademarks into dialogue with productive examinations of his collaborations, influences, politics, and shifting industry positions. With chapters ranging in focus from documentary and experimental shorts to landmark indies and Hollywood blockbusters, A Critical Companion to Christopher Nolan is a welcome addition to contemporary film scholarship.