The Prestige Christopher Nolan 2006 USA / UKIn Victorian London, two rising magicians strike up a rivalry when one of them invents a new trick, and the other wishes to find out how it is done.Outstanding: a film told for the most part in flashback, with one character reading another character's journal... and within that narrative, the other character reads the principle character's journal. On top of this, parallel to this dual-perspective, we've a third character reliving the fatal night which begins the film. It's spellbinding stuff, conceptually ambitious and narratively genius. Nolan's trump card is montage; he has a fine sense of pacing and sound, knowing when to cut and what to - it's incredibly complicated stuff made to look effortless, much like the magic tricks themselves.
I’d add that such principles neatly fuse two pressures: toward narrative coherence and comprehension on the one hand, and toward production efficiency on the other. It’s cheaper and easier to repeat camera setups if you can. Artistic economy and financial economy can work together, nicely.
And to explain in the briefest of terms why I'm reading that blog in particular, it's helped me reinvigorate two things: a quest for word economy in my own writing, and an appreciation of the formal elements of a film.
I hope the latter isn't to be at the expense of the other stuff I've been championing for the past year or so.