I think Christopher Nolan is a great director… but… he’s also so enamored of puzzle box structure that often his films are all cerebellum and no heart, to the extent of being ultimately pointless on a storytelling level. From what I’ve read, Nolan feels that Hollywood itself has lost a lot of its heart, and that we no longer have the kind of big Hollywood blockbusters that are inspiring and can truly strike a resonant chord in the audience; instead, things have degenerated into lots of entertaining but ultimately pointless eye candy. Similarly, in the past several decades funding and focus has shifted away from NASA’s space program. I believe that as we grow older, we can often limit ourselves by shifting our focus solely onto what we’re doing and what we have, trying to manage our lives in their current state while letting our dreams and aspirations go; and that it can be incredibly harmful and dangerous to us as human beings to remove hope, promise, and inspiration from our outlooks. So much of our energy and drive comes not from youth, but from our potential and the belief that we can do anything with our lives– a belief that we ourselves retire after a certain age and making certain choices, but one that is essential to our continued growth as well as our state of well-being. To retire that kind of forward-thinking, and to resolve ourselves to lives without potential that exist only to manage the slow decline of our own mortality, is to prematurely accept not only death, but defeat, and to shift our focus to one of ultimate hopelessness. And yet that is what so many of us do once we settle on certain choices of career, and lately what it often feels like humanity is doing on a larger, global scale. The advances in technology in the last twenty years– the internet, smart phones, social media and the like– have transformed global communication but have also shifted our focus inward in a very self-critical and self-damaging way. We’re no longer focused on or potential, but on self-destruction. If we are to continue to grow and evolve, we need to recast our focus outward and on moving forward, not just on managing our troubles. It’ll certainly be interesting to see if Interstellar addresses this, and if Nolan can deliver on the kind of inspirational blockbuster that engages the heart and inspires us on a national, and even global, level to think bigger and be bigger. It would be a leap forward for Nolan, and its the kind of film we really need right now. If he can achieve that, this could easily be the movie of the year.