FM3 Coursework

How does Christopher Nolan express the Byronic Protagonist in different ways in his films?

Focus film

ITEM 1 -The dark knight

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I chose this as my focus film because it is the most critically acclaimed film, of his ‘Dark Knight Trilogy’, which are arguably his most recognisable films (due to the character, and Ticket sales). As well as this, Nolan deals with the traditional presentation of the Byronic hero, in arguably its most famous incarnation; Batman. As well as looking at a Byronic Antagonist in the form of ‘the Joker’.

Trailer –


Supporting Films

ITEM 2 – Memento

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This was his second feature length film, based off of a short story his brother wrote, and his first Studio movie, and shows clear examples of traits the he uses throughout his career, such as a non-linear narrative. As well as this, the troubled protagonist concept is shown differently here as he has to deal with not being able to know whats happening, making the audience question the concept of their own reality.

Trailer –

ITEM 3 – Inception

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I chose this, because it is seen as an individual project from Nolan, as he had unlimited time to create it, and Huge resources, used as a sort of reward for how much profit he made the studio’s with the ‘dark knight trilogy’. This allowed him to do whatever he wanted to do, with his own project, making it in some sense, his ‘truest’ film. As well as this, the idea of the Byronic Protagonist can be seen as a reflection of Nolan himself; as the team is meant to mirror a film crew, with ‘Cobb’ being the director, ‘Eames’ being the actor, ‘Saito’ being the studio head etc. Thus making Cobb a reflection of himself as the writer and director.

Trailer –


ITEM 5 – Inception Review. Justin Chang. JULY 5, 2010 | 04:00PM PT   –

ITEM 6 – Memento Review – Roger Roger Ebert. April 13, 2001

ITEM 7 – The Dark Knight  Review. Kirk Honeycutt. 18/07/2008 9:19 AM PDT. –

These Reviews Gives me an insight into how the use of the ‘Byronic Protagonist was received at the time of release. All of the reviews are by different company’s, and different reviewers in order to diversify the reaction and response to the films in order to grasp a wider my understanding of how critics reacted to the presentation of Nolan Byronic Hero.



ITEM 8 –

This has basic information as well as good quotes about the Byronic Hero.

ITEM 9 –

This  source has examples of Byronic Protagonist’s that will helped me to grasp the concept of the Byronic Protagonist. As well as this it has information about the role the Byronic Protagonist has in popular culture.

“[Interstellar]… Plays like a confused mix of daringly unique space travel footage like you’ve never seen, and a daringly familiar emotional and plot beats that you’ve seen all to many times before”  – James Rocchi for ‘the playlist’


ITEM 10 – Christopher Nolan on the structure of the portrayal of the narrative structure in ‘Memento’, which allows me to .


ITEM 11 – How does Christopher Nolan use cinematography to tell a story?

This explains common themes and techniques, and how they’re applied to create narratives, with common threads, as well as explaining how three different.

ITEM 12 – The Dark Knight — Creating the Ultimate Antagonist

ITEM 13 – Christopher Nolan | The Illusion of Identity

This explains how Nolan uses the main protagonist and links all of his protagonist through the theme of identity (as well as comparing them to different antagonists throughout his films), which is relevant because all of his films are very main protagonist focused, and are about men who struggle to perceive reality.

ITEM 14 – Christopher Nolan – The Pursuit of Complexity

This analyses some common conceptions about Nolan and his films, and compares them to his influences, and how similar they are.s

ITEM 15 – Camera Angles and Movement: Christopher Nolan, “Pencil Trick” Scene, The Dark Knight


ITEM 16 – Byronic Hero in Literature | Definition of Byronic Hero

I choose this because it clearly defines the idea of the ‘Byronic Hero’, which is an essential aspect of my research focus.

ITEM 17 – How Christopher Nolan was inspired by Francis Bacon

This source links to the visual influences of Francis Bacon and how it influences Heath Ledger’s face paint for the joker, and how it gave the character  a . As well as this, Nolan says that he was inspired by how the “black spaces” in Bacon’s paintings make the audience wonder about the emptiness of the paintings, about how “The more he removes, the less he tells you whats out there, the more I [he] tend[s] to think about whats out there in the black spaces”, and how he used this to create his characters. The mystery of the blank spaces add to the


ITEM 18 –


ITEM 19 –


Sight and Sound

ITEM 20 –



Robert McKee – Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting

(A protagonist and his or her story can only be as intellectually fascinating and emotionally compelling as the forces of antagonism make them.

ITEM 21 – The Fictional Christopher Nolan:

ITEM 22 – Recapturing the Byronic Hero: Christopher Nolan’s Batman Films (University of Arizona)

Deselected Sources

ITEM D1 – The Prestige

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I choose this because it has a conflict between two Byronic Protagonists, and interestingly presents the conflict between them.

Trailer –

Review –


ITEM D2 – Christopher Nolan’s Top 10 Rules For Success

This clearly examines common traits Nolan uses to create his films, and how he applies them.

ITEM D3 – Christopher Nolan Interview – The Culture show


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