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Why One of Christopher Nolan’s Own Films Should Be Remade

Despite Christopher Nolan’s reputation for creating spectacular blockbuster films, his first attempt at directing was far from that. Still, a remake could surpass his previous works.

Christopher Nolan has gained immense popularity for his visually stunning and grandiose blockbuster films, which is precisely why he should consider remaking his earliest and least expensive movie. As a highly regarded director, Nolan has transformed Hollywood in numerous ways, such as elevating the status of comic book movies with the Dark Knight trilogy and popularizing the use of IMAX cameras.

His name alone is enough to attract audiences anticipating epic storytelling and a production scale that even Steven Spielberg finds challenging to match.

In Oppenheimer, Nolan impressively recreated the visual effects of a nuclear bomb explosion without relying on computer-generated imagery. His creative genius has earned him extensive artistic freedom and a budget of $100 million from Universal, a privilege that not all filmmakers enjoy.

However, Nolan’s entry into the film industry was a humble one. Two years before gaining recognition for Memento, he directed an exceptional thriller, Following, produced with a meager budget of $6,000. Despite its compelling storyline, the film’s shortcomings due to financial constraints make it an ideal candidate for a great remake.

This Could Be A Modern-Day Thriller by Christopher Nolan

This Could Be A Modern-Day Thriller by Christopher Nolan (1)
This Could Be A Modern-Day Thriller by Christopher Nolan (1)

Quentin Tarantino expressed his desire to remake Reservoir Dogs, believing that he could make an even better version of the film using the 30 years of experience he has gained since its original release in 1992. Similarly, Christopher Nolan should consider remaking his first film, Following, which has the potential to become a remarkable contemporary thriller.

The 1998 movie is about a London-based writer who follows random people searching for fascinating stories for his books but gets caught up in unforeseen circumstances. With Nolan’s 25 years of experience, a remake of Following can be outstandingly well-crafted and superior to the original.

Despite Christopher Nolan’s recent films’ glorious and visually impressive nature, audiences still long for his earlier, moderately budgeted thriller movies such as Memento and Insomnia. Nolan seems to have moved away from this genre, focusing more on sci-fi and war movies. However, remaking Following would allow the director to revisit the type of movie that initially made him successful.

Additionally, as the original film was only 70 minutes long and had some concepts that needed to be fully explored, Nolan could take those ideas and delve into them more deeply in the remake.

Production Issues Ruined The Original Movie

Production Issues Ruined The Original Movie
Production Issues Ruined The Original Movie

Like other films by Nolan, following is intellectually stimulating and inventive and explores fascinating themes. However, despite its potential to become a classic, the movie’s micro-budget of $6,000 limits its excellence compared to Nolan’s other works.

The black-and-white film has a grainy texture, inconsistent lighting, and inadequate shots, resulting in an overall appearance and sound that does not meet Nolan’s standards. To put things into perspective, the movie’s budget represents only 0.0006% of Oppenheimer’s production cost, demonstrating the immense difference in resources available to the director.

With an unlimited budget, Following could be transformed into a $100 million epic filmed on an IMAX camera, bringing it up to par with Nolan’s other successful movies.

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Why ‘Insomnia’ Is an Excellent Christopher Nolan Film but a Terrible Remake

Why 'Insomnia' Is an Excellent Christopher Nolan Film but a Terrible Remake
Why ‘Insomnia’ Is an Excellent Christopher Nolan Film but a Terrible Remake

Insomnia provides a different perspective on Christopher Nolan’s abilities as a director, presenting a scenario where he is more of a conventional filmmaker who prioritizes creating visually appealing films with talented actors rather than exploring deep themes.

The movie is a remake of a Norwegian film from 1997 with a similar premise and plot points, but Nolan’s interpretation deviates from the original in terms of the conclusion. While he attempts to infuse his favorite themes of truth, deception, and control, the result falls flat, making Insomnia an unengaging experience that merely showcases Nolan’s ability to direct a studio picture. As a result, it is generally overlooked among the director’s oeuvre.

The storyline centers around Al Pacino’s character, LAPD detective Will Dormer, and his partner, Hap Eckhart (Martin Donovan), who are sent to a remote Alaskan fishing village, Nightmute, to investigate the murder of a teenage girl.

However, they are not assigned the case due to their reputation but because they are under investigation by internal affairs. As they arrive in Nightmute, it appears that they will quickly solve the case, but a failed operation leads to the killer’s escape, and in the ensuing chase, Will mistakenly kills Hap.

In the movie, the killer Walter Finch is an unexpected witness to a shooting incident involving LAPD detective Will Dormer and his partner Hap Eckhart, which forces Dormer to cover up the accidental shooting.

As Dormer investigates the murder of a teenage girl in a remote Alaskan village, he must deal with the pressure of keeping the truth about the shooting hidden from authorities and his strange relationship with Finch, who knows what happened. Meanwhile, Dormer is also struggling with Insomnia in a place where it’s always daylight.

In Nolan’s version of Insomnia, the basic plot remains similar to the original movie, with the addition of an internal affairs investigation to clarify why Will would try to cover up Hap’s accidental killing.

However, the film places too much emphasis on the character’s motivations and the distinction between killing and murder, which doesn’t add much depth to the exploration of intention in the film. The focus on this semantic difference deters from the movie’s overall impact.

The significant contribution of Nolan’s Insomnia remake is that the protagonist, Will Dormer, is fie-guilty of the accusations made against him by internal affairs. Like other Nolan characters, Will deceives himself and his actions, believing that the ends justify the means. The film explores the tension between justice and truth as Will confesses to Ellie that he fabricated evidence to convict a guilty man at the risk of getting away.

He created a lie, to tell the truth, and this belief influences his actions in covering up Hap’s killing. Will believes lying will serve justice, as the truth may be less effective. The film’s most exciting aspect is navigating the ethical complexities of justice and truth.

Nolan’s concept of imposing order on chaos through deception is fascinating. Still, it isn’t fully developed in Insomnia and only truly comes to fruition in The Dark Knight, where the lie about Harvey Dent’s death is created.

The idea of using lies to achieve justice conflicts with the original story’s plot and its nihilistic view of the world, which is at odds with Nolan’s perspective. While Nolan believes in the power of storytelling and deception to create order, Skjoldbjærg’s film presents a more pessimistic outlook on the world.

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