Inception: Christopher Nolan’s Masterclass on Storytelling Sep05

Inception: Christopher Nolan’s Masterclass on Storytelling...

Writer-director Christopher Nolan is known for making mind-bending movies. From Momento to The Prestige to his Dark Knight trilogy to Dunkirk, Nolan’s signature style rests in cerebral storytelling that often takes the viewer by surprise, either at the end of his films, or at multiple points along the way as the stories unfold and you realize what you’re watching is not, exactly, what is happening—or at least, not what’s happening at the moment you think it’s happening. It’s a particularly effective storytelling method because it causes you to engage with his stories on another level, whether you want to or not. In Nolan’s films, pure story meets logical function and the faculties of analysis are engaged. As an exceptional storyteller, Nolan recognizes the power stories hold. All stories have the ability to change minds and hearts, and therefore culture, because it is through stories that ideas are planted. I maintain that storytellers are the most powerful people in society. Culture—more than politics or economics or anything else—changes the tide of history. Ideas have power, and it is our art, our stories, that plant those ideas into our psyche, where they take root and grow. Storytellers can slip inside the mind and change people from the inside out just like the architects in Inception. In 2010, Nolan gave us a movie that showed how keenly aware he is of the importance and power of stories. But not only that, in the movie itself, he instructs us in how to harness that power—a power that can be both very good, or devastating. The movie is Inception, a word he redefined for the purpose of the film as the implanting of an idea into the mind. Inception is Christopher Nolan’s masterclass in how to incept people through...