Christopher Nolan

The 10 Best Movie Props of All Time

By Cara McWilliam-Richardson

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The traditional definition of a theatrical prop is; any object that a character interacts with during the action of a scene. In film, props are that and yet so much more. A prop can be a small plot point, a central plot element, an offhand item or even a character in itself.

Throughout film history, there have been hundreds of memorable props. These props become forever associated with the films in which they appear, and often end up as highly sought-after memorabilia for fans.

Narrowing down the possible props that could appear on this list was almost an impossible task. There was the box of chocolates from Forrest Gump that gave inspiration to a much-quoted film line, the horse’s head from The Godfather that became a common cultural reference, and the Swingline red stapler from Office Space that had scores of people trying to buy the same one, only to find that Swingline did not actually make a red stapler. The power of a good prop has no bounds. Here is a list of some of film’s most memorable props.

10. Cobb’s totem/spinning top (Inception)

Inception ending

Christopher Nolan’s 2010 visual masterpiece Inception caused much discussion, in particular the final scene and controversial ending involving a now iconic film prop. Earlier in the film, it has been established that a personal totem can tell if one is experiencing a dream or reality. In Cobb’s case, a spinning top will spin indefinitely if he is stuck in someone else’s dreamscape, or will topple if he is in the real world. In the final scene, Cobb spins the top but the screen cuts to black before the audience sees whether the totem topples or not.

Property master Scott Maginnis took an old spinning top that belonged to Nolan, and completely redesigned it. He → continue…

From:: Taste Of Cinema

The 25 Best Mind-Bending Movies of All Time

By Thor Magnusson

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Mind-bending movies – stories that deliberately target the audience’s brain as their plaything, either by making us work through their abstract mysteries, or by pulling the rug from underneath the audience in its final moments, or taking us on a spiralling dream-like journey like no other film could.

Let’s examine the best of the best from this exclusive sub-genre, with a criteria of only one entry permitted by its director (otherwise this would just be a David Lynch and Christopher Nolan list). Prepare your mind…

25. Altered States (1980)

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Ken Russell was already Britain’s ‘Enfant Terrible’ before he went to the United States for this troubled production that quickly killed his chance of working there again. Based on the novel by Paddy Chayefsky (disowned by him as well), the film follows a Harvard scientist (William Hurt) who becomes obsessed with finding human nature’s true role in the universe. How does he set about doing this? By locking himself in an isolation chamber and taking hallucinatory drugs – as you do.

The film devolves into silly nonsense as Hurt’s physical state regresses to primal form as a reaction to this ordeal, yet where the film flourishes is with its incredible ‘vision’ related imagery; here Russell is truly in his element as he creates an awe-inspiring world that likely stands as the most stunning and elaborately made hallucinogenic sequences put to celluloid, as well as his strongest work in that specific field (which is saying something). The plot is interesting even if some of the execution is flawed, yet it’s more than worth your time for its trippy mise-en-scene and hellish imagery.

24. Triangle (2009)

This strong little thriller from underrated director Christopher Smith makes for a loopy and memorable experience that squeezes the most out → continue…

From:: Taste Of Cinema