SCIENCE FICTION movies perfect for Christopher Nolan’s fans
Oppenheimer, Christopher Nolan’s latest film, hits theaters. He is a director whose work’s main feature is meticulousness. Suffice it to say that he is modeled on Stanley Kubrick in this regard. Nolan has already made twelve films, seven of which represent the science fiction genre (if you count the Batman trilogy). So there is no denying that this genre must be important to the British director. Here are some sci-fi movies that may also be relevant to those who like Nolan’s work.
Steven Spielberg’s film was a surprising experience in many ways. Action cinema lined with a dystopian, fundamentally pessimistic atmosphere, with many twists and turns, in this edition resembles more Nolan’s film than Spielberg’s. Although Spielberg has a lot of experience in science fiction, until the time of the Report, he aimed more at star observations (Close Encounters of the Third Kind), also speculating about the development of bioengineering (Jurassic Park) and artificial intelligence. The new millennium, however, brought new fears. Christopher Nolan’s later cinema primarily refers to Minority Report with the style and pace of action lined with intrigue. If you put the subject matter aside, you can see the 2002 film’s connections to Inception.
In Tenet, Christopher Nolan once again made it clear how much he is fascinated by time and its relativity. An interesting example of a film that confuses the viewer in a similar way with the development of various space-time paths and the journey through the fourth dimension is the somewhat forgotten Predestination with Ethan Hawk. You can see similarities in styles, themes, momentum. The feeling of embarrassment with which Predestination bids farewell to the viewer is quite similar too – one would love to watch it again to add the pieces of the puzzle more accurately.
2001: A Space Odyssey
Nolan often referred to the style of creation of Stanley Kubrick. This is probably the most significant and obvious example of the British director’s inspiration. Who like who, but Nolan loves to refine his works with no less meticulousness than Kubrick. Everything has to run like clockwork. Nolan’s film most closely related to Kubrick is, of course, Interstellar, about a dramatic flight into space. Kubrick’s fascination with space was reflected in the cult classic 2001: A Space Odyssey, but both here and in Nolan’s the story goes much further than the spaceship allows.
At one time, Danny Boyle chose a seemingly impossible concept – he set off towards the sun. Although the premise seems absurd, it is presented in an aura of incredible probability. It’s hard scifi more in style than in the scientific basis guarding the script, but it’s still hard to counter the impression that he wanted to tell this otherwise stupid story seriously. Cillian Murphy starred here, which is even more associated with Nolan’s films. He might as well subscribe to Sunshine, because similar ambitions are realized here, overcoming the impossible.
A film for those who believe in the miraculous effects of various pills. Here, this idea is presented in the form of obvious hyperbole, because the main character, after taking a certain drug, not only feels better, but also turns into a superhuman – his perception possibilities expand. It is interesting to look at this film years later, when we already know about the opioid crisis that is consuming American society. Regardless, the film stimulates the imagination, presents the story in a believable way. If Nolan’s passion is to show the destructive consequences of human actions, Limitless has a lot to add on this subject.
In the category of low-budget, minimalist hard SF cinema, Primer is already a classic. In terms of momentum, the 2004 film is of course far from the average Christopher Nolan film, which usually spends a lot of money on production values. However, there is a convergence in the approach of the director of Primer to the topic of time travel and science in general as a source of inspiration for cinema. This is Nolan’s leitmotif, who is very precise when creating his shows, so that they best reflect the principles of the real world and be credible for the audience. So if you like SF for real, you have to watch Primer.
Kathryn Bigelow once predicted the impact of VR technology on our lives. Technology, let us add, today common and extremely popular. The vision presented by the director, together with James Cameron (ex-husband), is one of those with negative overtones. Christopher Nolan would certainly subscribe to such outlined theses about technology bringing doom, not salvation. His later visions, including Intestellar, the most important SF film in his oeuvre, are imbued with this kind of thinking.
In the Shadow of the Moon
A very interesting, addictive thriller, lined with elements of science fiction, which is closer to Nolan’s Memento and Insomnia than to purely scifi shows. What I value here above all is the atmosphere straight from a noir crime story and successful acting performances – Boyd Holbrook is underestimated so far, but he is a very good actor. The film is about mysterious crimes that defy all logic – they are committed exactly every nine years. The policeman, wanting to solve the case on his own, enters the area of time travel, which may surprise the viewer. The film has a few hackneyed plot cliches, but they don’t hurt so much during the screening.