In the work of Christopher Nolan, hands shape the world, reclaim it, destroy it, ameliorate it, keep in order, drive it to a state of chaos, hold it back, steer us through. And in so being, how is Nolan’s work any different from any other filmmaker, you ask? It’s that Nolan gently nudges us with the idea of the hands’ supremacy. For a director who at times seems to be bursting with florid bombast, he also relishes in quiet moments, so much so that a detail like recurring use of hand close-ups might be the last thing you would notice and yet, simultaneously, the most important thing of all. This video essay by Jorge Luengo moves us through Nolan’s filmography, drawing our attention to the quiet primacy these appendages can obtain.
Watch: For Christopher Nolan, Hands Are a Locus of Power