How Christopher Nolan’s Use of Crosscut Sequences Between Storylines Helps Build Thrilling Suspense

Filmmaker Michael Tucker of Lessons from the Screenplay takes a look at how director Christopher Nolan uses crosscut sequences to build suspense within various storylines while also preparing the audience for a cathartic twist. Tucker compares three of Nolan’s movies – The Dark Night, Inception and Interstellar – in order to show how Nolan uses this technique, the films where Nolan met all of the elements for a successful crosscut sequence and those films where he did not.

So, today, I want to briefly look at “The Dark Knight” to uncover the elements of an effective Nolan crosscut. To test these elements in similar sequences in both “Inception” and “Interstellar”, and to ultimately discover why the narrative power of this “Interstellar” sequence falls short of what we usually expect from one of our most ambitious modern filmmakers..