Realism is a term attributed quite often in cinema, beginning with neorealism in post-war Italy, and finding its way to France in the form of the New Wave and India in the Parallel Cinema movement. In American cinema, indies are prominent these days, with a film festival around every corner and top tier actors and actresses seeking smaller, more intimate roles that offer their own sense of immediacy.
This skillfully put together video essay by Trevor Ball explores the “cinematic realism” of director Christopher Nolan and cinematographer Wally Pfister. The duo have worked on almost all of Nolan’s films (with the exceptions of his first, “Following” and his latest “Interstellar”) and together they’ve created their own universes –– these ever-changing realities chock full of superheroes, supervillains, the criminally insane, and the dastardly mischievous.
Nolan and Pfister incorporate a wide range of movement into their camerawork; they utilize dolly shots often in order to setup a scene, or foreshadow oncoming tumult. Just think of “The Dark Knight” and the perpetual state of suspense implied by the low angles and strong close-ups.
What’s your favorite Nolan/Pfister moment? Let us know in the comments below.