IIM Calcutta

Christopher Nolan

Oscar predictions & Collective Choice

By Arun Ramachandran for ‘C’nema Paradiso

A friend recently recommended a book written by James Surowiecki – The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations. The author talks about how as a collective we are good at arriving at better decisions than as single members of a group. On a related note, we, at ‘C’nema Paradiso, carried out a little exercise to gauge the mood before the Oscars at IIM-C and, more importantly, how well it could predict the Oscars. With 104 students voting, James Surowiecki would be proud on seeing the voting results.

If left to us we would have got right 4 out of the 6 categories which went for poll last week. However, we were not so keen on showing The Kings Speech the same love that the Oscar jury showed yesterday.
Results vs Predictions


Christopher Nolan Oeuvre

– By Pradipta Bohra

A scene from 'Following'

A brief look at Christopher Nolan’s oeuvre through the lens of post-modernism

Christopher Nolan has arrived on the Hollywood scene with a bang which can really be named as ‘The big bang’ or the one that started it all. He has cemented his place as the champion of postmodernist cinema with his use of disjoint storylines, rejection of grand narratives and mocking of order and stability.

Post modernism identifies a departure from earlier era where science was held as the creator of values, and order and idealism were the apostles of faith. In today’s chaotic world Nolan’s movies find a ready audience who can identify with the insecurity and instability of the actors. There is no perfect hero in Nolan’s movies and in spite of the hero’s best efforts and conviction in his abilities; he faces the innumerable cracks in his character. Themes of duality, obsession, sacrifice, guilt and secrecy permeate the fabric of the storylines repeatedly. Such themes are a very real reflection of our society and bring home the point that in today’s society adapting and adjusting are the only way out. There is no right or wrong, just situations and actions driven out of those situations.

The sheer inability to follow a set path is repeatedly used by Nolan to weave intricate tunnels and passages in his scripts. He captures the audience’s short attention span through mini-stories that do not necessarily combine to form a whole and leave the audience free to have their own interpretations. It wonderfully establishes the paradox in today’s society- more of power to the individual, yet man is more confused about himself than ever before. No belief works anymore and this theme is repeatedly highlighted in the movie ‘The Dark Knight’. The villain in the movie, the Joker plays off people against each other by attacking their beliefs. Another of Nolan’s unforgettable characters in the Memento has already lost his ability to form any beliefs. He has to believe in things ‘on the run’.

Lights, camera and action – yes Mr. Nolan, we are ready to believe or disbelieve if you so desire.