Christopher Nolan

Thanks to his stylized, time-bending renovation of film noir conventions, director Christopher Nolan established himself as a creator of psychologically demanding films that defied classification. Though he made his feature debut with the ultra-low budget indie, "Following" (1998), Nolan put himself on the map with "Memento" (2000), a classic revenge story with the unique twist of being told backwards. Hailed by many critics and - by indie standards - made successful by a rabid audience, "Memento" quickly turned Nolan's fortunes, establishing him as a highly sought-after talent. He soon followed with the thriller "Insomnia" (2002), starring heavy-hitters Al Pacino, Hilary Swank and Robin Williams. But it was the blockbuster "Batman Begins" (2005) - a reimagined take on a long-defunct film franchise - that propelled Nolan to the upper tier of Hollywood directors. His dark, brooding take on the avenging crusader was much more aligned with its original intention than any other subsequent incarnation had been, earning critical praise, audience admiration and a large chunk of box office dollars. With "The Prestige" (2006), "The Dark Knight" (2008) and "Inception" (2010), his reputation as an auteur working in a blockbuster world was firmly cemented. Later works "Interstellar" (2014) and "Dunkirk" (2017) showed that his mastery of form extended to philosophical science fiction and gripping war drama as well.