A Person Who Inspires Me
Thebe J. Ramotadima | Academic Development | 29 October 2018
“Now you are looking for the secret. But you won’t find it, because, of course, you’re not really looking. You don’t really want to work it out. You want to be fooled.” If you are a fan of movies, you will likely recognize this closing shot, these are one of the closing shots of director Christopher Nolan, if you have not noticed Nolan has a unique approach to ending his films. Traditional film narrative calls for a three-act structure, to put it simply, there is a set-up in act one, a confrontation in act two, and a resolution in act three. Significant events known as plot points occur at the acts of act one and two in order to transition to the next act by sending the plot into a new direction. But where Nolan likes to change things up is when he gets to the end of act three.

From humble origins in the East end of London, He now is among the highest-grossing directors in filmmaking history, and one of the most acclaimed and influential filmmakers of the 21st century best known for his cerebral, often nonlinear storytelling. He goes by the name Christopher Edward Nolan.

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Born on the 31st of July 1970 is the latter English film director, screenwriter and producer who holds both British and American citizenship. Nolan was born and raised in London, England, living with his English father, Brendan James Nolan, who was an advertising executive, and his American mother, Christina Nolan, worked as a flight attendant and a teacher. He has two brothers, the older brother, Matthew Francis Nolan, a convicted felon, and a younger brother, Jonathan Nolan. Nolan began making films at the age seven, borrowing his father’s super 8 camera, then began shooting short films with action figures. Growing up Nolan was smitten by sci-fi movies, he particularly took a liking to Star Wars (1977) and 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), from the age of eleven, he aspired to be a professional filmmaker.

When the Nolan family relocated to Chicago during his formative years, he started making films with Adrien and Roko Belic. He continued his collaboration with the Belic brothers, receiving credit his editorial assistance on an Oscar-nominated documentary Genghis Blues (1999)When I think of a Christopher Nolan ending I think of “Ambiguity”. Nolan likes for his films to continue long after the credits roll. Sometimes he can do this with a single shot. Other times he likes to lead up to this with a “Denouement”, Denouement refers to the final part of the story where loose ends are tied and necessary elements are explained or resolved. Think about Nolan’s finale in “The Dark Knight Rises”, in a montage that lasts about five minutes, Nolan ties up the necessary pieces to the story and gives us closure with new information, but often Nolan likes to add a twist to this method which prevents us from receiving full closure, sometimes this as simple as the shot he chooses to close with, other times he does with introducing a new turn in the story. “The Prestige” for example seems to deliver a pretty solid ending tying up the many loose ends, but Nolan chooses to close with this particular shot does not quite fit with idea of a clean ending. It forces us to look back and dig deeper.