In today’s Movie News Rundown: Christopher Nolan explains himself; how arguments can speed up your script; a theater CEO’s analogy overshoots the mark. Plus: We take a shot at being the only movie site that isn’t packed with election news we’re hilariously unqualified to report.
Christopher Nolan Opens Up: The new book The Nolan Variations, written by Tom Shone, explores the films of Christopher Nolan with the cooperation of… Christopher Nolan. In this good, to-the-point EW piece, Shone gives insight into what Nolan was thinking during the Tenet delays, among other things: “The thing he likes is problem-solving. I think the kind of Rubik’s Cube that was the release of this movie was just one more problem to wrap his brain around,” Shone explains. He also explains what he thinks that spinning top is all about.
Relatedly: AMC CEO Adam Aron has apparently seen either Dunkirk or Darkest Hour way too many times. Deadline reports that he repeatedly invoked Winston Churchill’s “We Shall Fight” speech — the one about standing up to literal Nazis — to describe how AMC will fight to stay in business. That seems… overdramatic. And also emblematic of the kind of hyperbole (and self-aggrandizement) that is getting kiiiinda ridiculous. Also, I like how Dunkirk handles the speech better, because it’s so understated.
Oh and Would You Look at This: Some folks called Maple Films edited the endings of Dunkirk and Darkest Hour together.
Start an Argument: In your screenplay, not on Twitter. In a terrific new Go Into the Story post, Scott Myers shares some advice about a simple way to deliver exposition: Insert an argument into the script. Your characters can yell what might otherwise be very clumsy background, while giving us clues about their relationship. For example a husband might tearfully yell, “Democrats struggle to form winning coalitions because we waste so much time scolding each other online!” And then the wife cooly lights a cigarette and says, “No, dear. We lose when we get our news from algorithms that only tell us what we want to hear.”
Drinking/A Personal Thing: If you’re happy with the amount that you drink, by all means skip this one. But Google searches for “liquor stores near me” reportedly hit an all-time high last night, which makes me just feel sad. I spent many years of using alcohol to deal with everything: highs, lows, successes, setbacks, excitement, boredom. If you feel stuck in that cycle — which is easier than ever now, with so much anxiety and isolation — I wanted to mention that I found the forums on this site really helpful when I was first struggling to quit. It’s an anonymous, low-effort way to explore your options. I don’t know who runs the site, only that it helped me, and I don’t detect any preachy or culty undertones. Addiction issues seem, to me, anecdotally, to be a little more common among creatives, maybe because they spend so much time tapping into hard emotions, or dealing with stress, or something. I could be wrong.
And Now: Yesterday’s Movie News.