Christopher Nolan Birthday Special: From The Dark Knight’s Car Chase to Interstellar’s Docking Sequence, 8 Visually Enthralling Sequences Directed By the Famed Filmmaker!

Christopher Nolan Birthday Special: From The Dark Knight’s Car Chase to Interstellar’s Docking Sequence, 8 Visually Enthralling Sequences Directed By the Famed Filmmaker!

In an era where movies continue to use CGI to heighten their experiences, one director stands in their way. It’s not that dramatic, but seeing how Christopher Nolan uses mostly practical effects with a blend of CGI to them, it definitely helps his films in aging really well. I mean, we are talking about the man who thought crashing an actual plane would be better than using CGI (Nolan, I beg you, please don’t drop the Atom Bomb for the sake of practicality in Oppenheimer). But still, he is one of those “once in a lifetime” directors and cinema is all the better for it. Oppenheimer Teaser: Cillian Murphy Is the Man Who Moved the Earth In This First Look at Christopher Nolan’s Work War II Biopic! (Watch Video).

With so many of Nolan’s films relying on practicality, he has delivered us some of the most enthralling sequences you will ever see in cinema. From the dogfights in Dunkirk to time-manipulating shenanigans in Tenet, he has always thought out of the box. As a matter of fact, I think he isn’t anywhere close to the box when you go back and see how he shot those sequences.

Watching the behind-the-scenes for Interstellar, you could have almost had me fooled that they went to space and shot this (not really, but you get the point). So, to celebrate Christopher Nolan’s 52nd birthday, let’s take a look at eight of his movies’ most visually enthralling sequences.

Exploding Building (Tenet)

The final act of Tenet is filled with some of the most impressive filmmaking you will come across. With there essentially being two teams, one going forward in time and the other going backward, there comes a scene where an already exploded building goes back in time and explodes again. Don’t know how that was achieved, but God does it look so real. TENET Movie Review: Christopher Nolan’s Latest Is a Spectacular Puzzle That’s Also a Numbing Head-Scratcher! (Onhike Exclusive).

I am Batman (Batman Begins)

Revitalising a character that is considered as a joke by many for many years is definitely a difficult task, but Nolan took that challenge head on. Directing Batman Begins and it being the Caped Crusader’s first live-action film since the ill-received Batman and Robin, Nolan brought a realistic and gritty sense to the character grounding by grounding him into the underbelly of Gotham’s corruption. When it was time to unveil Batman’s first outing, Nolan presents the character like something straight out of a horror movie. Stalking in the shadows and taking his enemies out one-by-one, and so is the iconic catchphrase of “I am Batman,” uttered as Christian Bale brings a sense of hope to Gotham.

Farrier Saves the Day (Dunkirk)

The chips are down, the British forces are in trouble as a German bomber is rounding on them and the ship is sinking too. Soldiers are in the sea with oil from the boat spilling, and there is no help in sight. The clock is ticking and Hans Zimmer’s score is swelling up in the background. Sitting in the audience, you know a payoff is coming, and oh does that pay off come. Just as the bomber goes in for a second attack, Tom Hardy’s Farrier in his Spitfire gets into the frame to save the day. This is what it’s all been building. The non-linear plot of the film intertwines, all the parties are in the same place at the same time. The land, the sea and the air connect, and Farrier takes down the bomber.

Hallway Fight (Inception)

There are so many moments from Inception that will just make you go “woah,” but the hallway fight still remains one of the most creative aspects of it. With Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Arthur taking down two agents as the gravitational force of the entire hallway shifts as in a previous dream, he is in a car chase, it’s just a visual sight that creates tension in the best way possible. Going back and watching the making of this will give you a special appreciation for it too, as they created an entire rotating set with the actors acting out their  choreography in it. Inception: Christopher Nolan’s Hand-Drawn Plot for His Complex Science Fiction Thriller Goes Viral.

Those Aren’t Mountains (Interstellar)

In an effort to find a habitable planet, our leads arrive on a ball that is entirely covered in knee deep water. Trying to find the data of the astronaut that first landed there, our group thinks they are safe as they see mountains in the background, the only caveat being that those aren’t mountains. As Cooper realises that they are actually waves, there fills a sense of dread in the background as we are treated to one of the most stunning shots in the film.

Climbing the Pit (The Dark Knight Rises)

A broken down and beaten-up Bruce Wayne is trapped in a pit that has the front seat to Gotham’s destruction. He can do nothing but try his best and train himself to escape the inescapable. Already having tried it twice, a doctor in the pit tells him to try escaping without a rope. “Why do we fall? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up,” is a sentiment felt throughout this scene. Making his way to the top without a rope so he can make the jump and let everyone out, Bruce Wayne stands on the edge as Zimmer’s score flares up in the background. Taken by surprise as a swarm of bats surround him from one of the holes in the pit, he finally makes the jump in what’s one of the most inspiring sequences in the entire trilogy.

Docking Sequence (Interstellar)

The Endurance having a part of it exploded after a failed docking attempt, Cooper and Brand look in horror from their vessel as their ship starts to spiral. With the chances of a safe docking being essentially non-existent, CASE tells Cooper that it’s impossible, to which he replies “no, it’s necessary,” and so begins one of the tensest sequences in the entire film. With the orchestra blaring in the background as Cooper, Brand and CASE do their best to get the ship under control, we are left with a sigh of relief as the docking is finally successful.

The Car Chase (The Dark Knight)

Revolutionising the superhero genre with its layered storytelling and morally ambiguous plot, The Dark Knight is perhaps Nolan’s best yet. Also, coincidentally features his finest directed sequences as well. With Harvey Dent being transferred to a different prison and led by a convoy to ensure his safety, it’s an open house for Joker to launch his attack on him. With Batman intervening midway through, the Tumbler immediately gets thrown out of action when it takes a bazooka blast head on in an effort to save the truck Harvey is in. But wait, that’s not all, as Bats quickly transforms his vehicle into a motorcycle and is back in the game once more. The scene is then beautifully capped off with a truck flip that had seven-year-old me cheering in the cinema. To quote the Martin Scorsese meme, “Cinema at its finest.” Heath Ledger Birth Anniversary Special: 5 Best Moments of the Late Actor as Joker From The Dark Knight.

The love and attention Nolan brings to his film is palpable and you can feel the passion behind each and every frame of his. With the trailer for Oppenheimer being a standout as well, here is hoping that movie is another cinematic experience that we won’t forget. With this, we finish off the list and wish Christopher Nolan a very happy birthday.

(The above story first appeared on Onhike on Jul 30, 2022 09:10 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website

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Charles writes for the Headline column of the website. He has done major in English, and a having a diploma in Journalism. He has worked for more than 1.5 years in a media house. Now, he joined our team as a contributor for covering the latest US headlines. He is smart both by him looks and nature. He is very good with everyone in the team.