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Just Write: What Writers Should Learn From Christopher Nolan

July 15, 2017
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Just Write: What Writers Should Learn From Christopher Nolan

Christopher Nolan is a master of story structure. With Dunkirk coming out this week, I decided to take a look back at Batman Begins, which has one of the most elegant act structures of any movie I have ever seen.

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Christopher Edward Nolan[1] (/ˈnlən/; born 30 July 1970)[2] is a British-American film director, screenwriter and producer. He is one of the highest-grossing directors in history, and among the most successful and acclaimed filmmakers of the 21st century.

Having made his directorial debut with Following (1998), Nolan gained considerable attention for his second feature, Memento (2000), for which he received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. The acclaim garnered by his independent films gave Nolan the opportunity to make the big-budget thriller Insomnia (2002) and the mystery drama The Prestige (2006). He found further popular and critical success with The Dark Knight Trilogy (2005–2012); Inception (2010), for which he received a second Original Screenplay nomination and one for the Academy Award for Best Picture; and Interstellar (2014). His nine films have grossed over US$4.2 billion worldwide and garnered a total of 26 Oscarnominations and seven wins. Nolan has co-written several of his films with his younger brother, Jonathan, and runs the production company Syncopy Inc. with his wife, Emma Thomas.

Nolan’s films are rooted in philosophical, sociological and ethical concepts, exploring human morality, the construction of time, and the malleable nature of memory and personal identity. His body of work is permeated by materialistic perspectives, labyrinthine plots, nonlinear storytellingpractical special effects, and analogous relationships between visual language and narrative elements.

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