Artistic impression isn't a directly correlated to BO. Look at the Star Wars prequels. Universally panned yet in the highest Worldwide grossing films ever.
Nolan, while having a huge exposition problem in my opinion, has a larger, deeper intellectual vision than Cameron in my opinion. Thats not a knock on Cameron but he mostly lately tends toward the bigger larger memes that audiences can grab onto in bulk and digest easily and have an amazing ride. Nolan does that as well but add's these layers of subtext that are a little darker and more satisfying.
Regardless they are both at the top of their game and have clearly earned their places in the pantheon.
In the context of today's filmmakers, Nolan is a blessing for those looking for an entertaining film with depth.
In the context of film history, he is not a standout.
Sorry for being slightly OT, but I have a question regarding the picture in the first post.
Does Nolan really operate the camera in his shoots? I had read he doesn't even look at a monitor, preferring to stand by the camera and look directly at the actors' performances. But for this last movie, almost every picture I see of Nolan working has him operating the IMAX camera or looking through its viewfinder. I know he's a very competent director on the technical side, being the DP on his first efforts. Did he do more camerawork in this movie or did the BTS and stills photographers have orders to fire away just any moment he comes near the camera when lining up a shot during rehearsals?
It might be a PR strategy, to show him actively using those big burly IMAX cameras, but I think it misrepresents the work of a director on set and the size and work of his crew to the general public.
What do you think?
Nolan is not more versatile than Cameron. Cameron goes from Sci-Fi, to Comedy, to Romance, to Adventure, then back to Sci-Fi and makes a billion dollars on his movies in each of those genres. And in between those fictional narratives, he's busy making multiple deep-dive documentaries of the titanic, going to the bottom of the ocean, and developing new technologies to re-invent cinema (fusion 3D). Nolan has yet to make a comedy, adventure, romance... strictly action/drama (with a hint of sci-fi in Inception). Until he makes a Titanic, a True Lies, and a crazy documentary, his range is objectively limited compared to Cameron's.
But when it comes to depth, yes, Nolan (along with pretty much everyone making movies today) has a better grasp than Cameron.
Christopher Nolan to me is a guy who "gets it" plain and simple. He knows how to tell a great story. Not to mention the fact that the combination of Nolan and Pfister has given us some of the most beautiful images of the last decade. Nolan might have to direct a few more films of his usual outstanding quality before the vast majority of movie goers will be ready to crown him king of Hollywood but that should in no way take anything from his accomplishments until now. If Nolan decided to make a film about paint drying on a wall, I for one would stand on line to watch it. As a quick side note, Tom, since you started this thread, I just wanted to take this opportunity and say that I am a big fan of your work.
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