Whether it be visually compelling to behold, or thematically intense – Christopher Nolan has proven to be artistically in touch with his craft. With an already stellar, though small catalogue of films to his name, there are a host of memorable scenes in all. Some of which have been etched permanently in the minds of film buffs… These are the most prominent in mine.
10. The Telephone Confession (Insomnia – 2002)
This scene stood-out for me in then entire film. There’s no score in the background and still remains gripping. It fully relies on the dialogue between the killer, Finch (Robin Williams) and Detective Dormer (Al Pacino). As Williams coldly retraces the events of his killing.
09. “The Power of Fear” (Batman Begins – 2005)
A scene I’ve once before cited as a personal favourite. In Nolan’s groundbreaking foray into comic book lore – A lost Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) confronts mob boss Carmine Falcone (Tom Wilkinson), who isn’t going to budge without a fight. Though it is a flashback – it is a pivotal scene that sets in motion Bruce’s desire to re-assess his life.
08. “Are you watching closely?” (The Prestige – 2006)
By no means do I regard this scene highly by its aesthetics, but it is a welcome departure from the film’s more opaque hue.
07. “How can I heal?” (Memento – 2000)
Leonard (Guy Pearce) reflects on the loss of his wife in a stark realisation of how time can never heal his pain. Unsettling, yet beautiful.
06. Revolving Corridor (Inception – 2010)
Visually outstanding. On Yusuf’s dream level, their van descends down a hill after being chased off the road by Fischer’s projections. While on the next – Arthur’s dream, he (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) goes toe to toe with a dream thug in a corridor that begins to revolve – accentuating the effects of the car-roll. It’s simple logic, but damn fucking effective. It’s absolutely amazing how they pulled this off so convincingly well.
05. Dent’s Last Stand (The Dark Knight – 2008)
Nolan caps off his first Bat-sequel with this intense stand-off between the fallen Harvey Dent, Jim Gordon and Batman. This one simply speaks for itself…
4. Pen & Paper Handy (Memento – 2000)
Memento has been probably my least favourite Nolan film for some time. Its complex narrative and some areas of direction made it extremely difficult for me to enjoy the film, though the performances are nothing short of brilliant. In this scene, considered by many to be the best of the entire film. Leonard’s desperation is a great representation of his condition, its effects and how they are slowly feeding into a crippling paranoia. As evident through one of many internal monologues.
03. Dream Construction 101 (Inception – 2010)
Dom Cobb (Leo Di Caprio) introduces Ariadne (Ellen Page) to the world of shared dreaming…
02. The Interrogation (The Dark Knight – 2008)
Done to death. But it’s a scene that will live with me forever. Tense, dramatic, even funny at times. Direction from Nolan and cinematography by Wally Pfister really at its best.
01. ‘The Prestige’ (The Prestige – 2006)
The big reveal… The riddle is finally solved, as Christian Bale’s Borden proudly unravels the mystery that structured the entire movie – in conjunction with a montage recapping his lifelong devotion to his greatest illusion. While a soon to be mortally wounded Angier (Hugh Jackman), recoils, stunned. Fucking awesome.