The Psychology of the Shadow, Part 2: The Dark Knight

This is part 2 of an essay-series about Christopher Nolan’s highly acclaimed Dark Knight Trilogy. The following is a standalone-article that can be read without the context of the other parts. For the sake of the best understanding of the matter, I strongly suggest you read part 1 about Batman Begins first. After Batman Begins redefined the perception of what levels of quality and depth … Continue reading The Psychology of the Shadow, Part 2: The Dark Knight

The Psychology of the Shadow, Part 1: Batman Begins

Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy has been justly praised for countless reasons. The psychological construction of the protagonist raised the Batman from a mere comic figure to a relatable hero of stature. The quality of the acting, screenplay, production design and especially Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack have elevated this trilogy into the ranks of modern cinema’s all-time classics. But there is one reason for praise that … Continue reading The Psychology of the Shadow, Part 1: Batman Begins

The Self-Sabotaging Hero: What I Learned from Rewatching Top Gun after 32 years

Top Gun is arguably the most iconic movie of the 1980’s and still one of the coolest movies ever produced up to date. F-14 Tomcat fighter jets taking off from aircraft carriers; an inspring soundtrack with invigorating guitar tunes; fast motorbikes and fancy sunglasses; sweating, muscle-packed bodies playing beach volleyball, and – last but not least – a young, shiny, and cocky Tom Cruise. It … Continue reading The Self-Sabotaging Hero: What I Learned from Rewatching Top Gun after 32 years

Love, Betrayal and Dante’s Judgement in The English Patient

“You can’t save someone from themselves”, says the Brazilian poet Paulo Coelho. And yet, the more we love someone, the less we seem to be able to resist the urge to try. Coelho’s aphorism could very well be the preface to Anthony Minghella’s movie The English Patient from 1996, based on Michael Ondaatje’s homonymous novel. The movie actually tells 2 storylines, who become interlaced by … Continue reading Love, Betrayal and Dante’s Judgement in The English Patient

Struggling Between Order and Chaos: Beth Harmon’s 7 Moves in “The Queen’s Gambit”

The success of Allan Scott’s Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit has been a surprise in many aspects. It took the Scottish TV-producer 30 years and 9 rewrites to finally find a company willing to produce the show. The most frequent reason given when studios rejected the project, was that “nobody would be interested in chess.” Before The Queen’s Gambit came out on Netflix, nobody could … Continue reading Struggling Between Order and Chaos: Beth Harmon’s 7 Moves in “The Queen’s Gambit”

Ego, Love and the Self in Lisa Joy’s Reminiscence (2021)

While science fiction often offers a detached look on mostly sociocultural or historical aspects of human civilization, near-future-scenarios like the Cyberpunk-genre seem to have a natural affinity to focus on existential aspects of the human condition. Lisa Joy’s Reminiscence is a romantic thriller set in just such a near future neo-noir scenario. It is very closely related to the Cyberpunk-genre, but offers an original atmosphere … Continue reading Ego, Love and the Self in Lisa Joy’s Reminiscence (2021)

The burning hand in Dune’s “Gom Jabbar”- and in Fight Club’s “Chemical Burn”-scene

The Gom Jabbar scene from Dune and the Chemical Burn scene from Fight Club share strong structural similarities. The most general similarity between these two scenes is that both Paul Atreides and the narrator from Fight Club (“Jack”) are being tested. They are being tested to suffer pain in their right hand. This similarity is what raises my interest to compare these two scenes and … Continue reading The burning hand in Dune’s “Gom Jabbar”- and in Fight Club’s “Chemical Burn”-scene

Lisa Joy’s “Reminiscence”: The greatest movie you never saw in 2021

After its release in theaters earlier this year, Lisa Joy’s new science-fiction thriller Reminiscence has now been released on Amazon Prime Video as a home-video premiere. It is Joy’s first feature film for the big screen after her amazing success with the HBO-Series Westworld, and certainly one of the greatest movie highlights of this year. Produced in cooperation with her husband Jonathan Nolan (Memento, The … Continue reading Lisa Joy’s “Reminiscence”: The greatest movie you never saw in 2021

What we know about Christopher Nolan’s upcoming movie “Oppenheimer”

Star director Christopher Nolan’s next movie Oppenheimer has been announced to release on July 21st, 2023. As the title reveals, Nolan’s new project tells the story of the inventor of the first nuclaer bomb, Robert Oppenheimer. The screenplay, which Nolan himself will provide, is based on Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin’s Pulitzer Price winning biography American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert … Continue reading What we know about Christopher Nolan’s upcoming movie “Oppenheimer”

Black Swan: The Incorporation of the Female Shadow

Meta-mythological stories tell ancient myths in a modern setting. As such, they can be very powerful and expressive in literature and film. They are able to transport deep truths about the human condition in a modern, accessible way. Black Swan, written by Mark Heyman and directed by Darren Aronofsky, adopts the Swan Lake myth to tell the story of the ambitious ballet dancer Nina, played … Continue reading Black Swan: The Incorporation of the Female Shadow