20. Christopher Nolan
THE DARK KNIGHT, MEMENTO, INCEPTION, THE PRESTIGE
One of the highest profile writer/director working today, Christopher Nolan has people’s attention. He’s had it ever since 2001’s Memento, and he’s kept it ever since. And yet, as the scopes of his stories have increased with his films’ budgets, the essential nature of his films is the same. He makes movies about morally ambiguous heroes, trying to find their way through their own personal life philosophies. This idea is his focal point, but no two of his films feel the same, because he structures his narratives to fit the constructs his characters have created. Form and function are flawlessly interwoven, and I dare you to find the seam. He’s also the director who made people take Batman seriously again; whose idea of a comic book movie is something real and gritty and dark; and whose idea of an action spectacle also involves two unique moral codes sitting across from each other hashing it out. And while his movies may leave some viewers slightly chilly-of-heart, his ability to bend minds and fracture narratives actually makes it worth saying he’s like nothing we’ve ever seen before.
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