Author Topic: AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO THINKS CHRISTOPHER NOLAN IS A GENIUS?  (Read 19935 times)

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SiliasRuby

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Re: AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO THINKS CHRISTOPHER NOLAN IS A GENIUS?
« Reply #105 on: April 01, 2009, 10:18:05 PM »
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Yes.....exciting.
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MacGuffin

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Re: AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO THINKS CHRISTOPHER NOLAN IS A GENIUS?
« Reply #106 on: April 24, 2009, 01:38:32 AM »
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Joseph Gordon-Levitt joins 'Inception'
Christopher Nolan's thriller stars Leonardo DiCaprio
Source: Hollywood Reporter
 
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is coming on board Christopher Nolan's "Inception," the filmmaker's thriller for Warner Bros. that stars Leonardo DiCaprio.

A veil of secrecy exists over loglines, though the project, which Nolan also wrote, is described as a contemporary sci-fi actioner set within "the architecture of the mind."

It is known that Gordon-Levitt is taking the role to have been played by James Franco, who bowed out over scheduling issues. He would play an associate of DiCaprio's character, a CEO-type.

Marion Cotillard is already on board as DiCaprio's wife, while Ellen Page is playing a grad student and DiCaprio's sidekick. Cillian Murphy is also in the cast.

Nolan and the studio are aiming for a summer shoot ahead of a 2010 release.

Nolan and Emma Thomas are producing through their Warners-based Syncopy Films shingle.

Gordon-Levitt, repped by CAA, has a big summer lined up: He stars in "500 Days of Summer," the romantic comedy that earned much buzz in Sundance and is now set for a July 17 release by Fox Searchlight, and plays the villainous Cobra Commander in Paramount tentpole "G. I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra," which opens Aug. 7.
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Re: AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO THINKS CHRISTOPHER NOLAN IS A GENIUS?
« Reply #107 on: May 05, 2009, 12:31:38 AM »
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Two join Nolan's 'Inception'
Ken Watanabe, Tom Hardy set for sci-fi action feature
Source: Hollywood Reporter
 
Ken Watanabe and Tom Hardy are boarding Christopher Nolan's "Inception" for Warner Bros.

The story, which Nolan wrote, is a contemporary sci-fi actioner set within the architecture of the mind, with Leonardo DiCaprio as a CEO type. Watanabe will play the film's villain, a man who is blackmailing DiCaprio. Hardy is a member of DiCaprio's team.

The duo join a cast that includes Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Cillian Murphy, Ellen Page and Marion Cotillard.

Watanabe's deal reunites him with Nolan, with whom he collaborated on 2005's "Batman Begins."

Nolan and the studio are aiming for a summer shoot ahead of a 2010 release. Nolan and Emma Thomas are producing through their Warners-based Syncopy Films shingle.

Watanabe next appears in the Weinstein Co.'s September release "Shanghai" with John Cusack, Chow Yun-Fat and Gong Li. He is repped by Endeavor and ROAR.

Hardy, who is in negotiations for his role, next appears in "Bronson," playing a criminal who spent 30 years in solitary confinement.
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Re: AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO THINKS CHRISTOPHER NOLAN IS A GENIUS?
« Reply #108 on: February 09, 2010, 09:53:11 AM »
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It's A Bird! It's A Plane! It's Chris Nolan! He'll Mentor Superman 3.0 And Prep 3rd Batman
By NIKKI FINKE AND MIKE FLEMING; Deadline Hollywood
   
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros is trying to ready its DC Comics stalwart Superman to soar again on the Big Screen, and the studio has turned to Chris Nolan to mentor development of the movie. Our insiders say that the brains behind rebooted Batman has been asked to play a "godfather" role and ensure The Man Of Steel gets off the ground after a 3 1/2-year hiatus. Nolan's leadership of the project can set it in the right direction with the critics and the fans, not to mention at the box office. Besides, Nolan is considered something of a god at Warner Bros and has a strong relationship with the studio after the success of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Though he wasn’t obligated to do so, he gave the studio first crack at his spec script Inception, and Warner Bros was able to buy it before other studios even got a sniff. While Nolan completes that Leonardo DiCaprio-starrer for a July 16th release, he's also hatched an idea for Warner Bros' third Batman installment. Now his brother and frequent collaborator Jonah Nolan, and David Goyer who co-wrote Batman Begins and penned the story for The Dark Knight, are off scripting it. (See 'FlashForward' Showrunner Exits For Features).

Let us emphasize that Superman 3.0 is in the early stages of development. And we doubt Nolan would direct. This wouldn't be a sequel to Superman Returns but a completely fresh franchise. As one of our insiders reassures: “It would definitely not be a followup to Superman Returns." Nolan coming on board follows a hiatus period for Superman after that 2006 reboot as the studio tried to figure out whether or not to make a sequel to that version starring Brandon Routh directed by Bryan Singer. As recently as this summer, Warner Bros was still contemplating how to proceed. We were told that "Bryan or Brandon are not completely out of it yet. But Warner Bros doesn't have a handle yet on it, either. [Producer] Jon Peters is trying to make something happen since he stands to benefit financially. But they [the studio] need to hear a great story that makes sense." Another insider explained to us, "We know what we don't want to do. But we don't know what we want to do. We learned a lot from the last movie, and we want to get it right this time."

Fans have long been yearning for Superman to finally get the big screen Nolan-ized treatment this classic superhero deserves. Warner Bros clearly has learned from its attempt to follow the mediocre 1978-1985 quartet of movies starring Christopher Reeve and produced by Ilya and Alexander Salkind, with 2006's underwhelming Superman Returns. That inbetween period was plagued by long delays and budget troubles and script misses. In 1997, original Batman director Tim Burton tried to make a Superman movie starring Nicolas Cage. Around 2004, J.J. Abrams wrote a film that was the first leg of a trilogy. Abrams wanted to direct, but had only directed episodes of his TV series (and wouldn't make his feature directing debut until 2006's Mission:Impossible III. McG and Brett Ratner separately were attached to that film. Ratner got closest, but Warner Bros was wary of a budget that swelled to $250 million, and which seemed risky after established star Josh Hartnett turned down the 3-picture deal that could have brought him $100 million in salary. After that, Warner Bros bosses didn't embrace Ratner's s choice of soap opera actor Matt Bomer to star.

Other prominent filmmakers were reportedly in the loop, but Warner Bros never pulled the trigger on the picture until Bryan Singer's involvement. Singer's Superman Returns was respectably reviewed for the genre. But it turned in only $52 million opening weekend, and $391 million worldwide gross. Problem was it cost too much (the budget was reportedly $270 million), and the promotion was lousy (Joel Silver was brought in at the last minute to inject macho into the marketing campaign). Worse, it left diehard fans only "meh" about a sequel starring Routh. Singer fared better, but it seems doubtful he'll be asked for an encore now. After all, Singer is now developing the spinoff X-Men: First Class for 20th Century Fox whose bosses were furious when he took on The Man Of Steel reboot instead of helming X-Men 3. But Singer and the studio subsequently made peace and he's back in the Fox fold and on board.

The restructuring of Warner Bros' business with DC Comics became Warner Bros Pictures Group president Jeff Robinov's first priority since having his contract reupped by Time Warner last summer. Problems have plagued the DC Comics-Warner Bros relationship for more than a decade. But the biggest failure has been to leave the most valuable DC Comics characters in movie development limbo by chaotically starting and stopping development on the high profile live action pics. Most recently, Warner Bros and DC Comics are finally getting their act together as evidenced by the progress on Green Lantern.

Superman 3.0 would test Warner Bros veteran executive Diane Nelson, the head of DC Entertainment Inc, that new company founded to fully realize and integrate the power and value of the DC Comics brand and characters across all media and platforms into Warner Bros Entertainment's content and distribution businesses. Nelson especially was charged with suping up Superman again because it's way too valuable to leave dormant like this. Besides, the clock is ticking.

Attorney Marc Toberoff, who keeps suing Warner Bros on behalf of creative rightsholders, warns that, in 2013, the Jerome Siegel heirs along with the estate of co-creator Joe Shuster will own the entire original copyright to Superman -- "and neither DC Comics nor Warner Bros will be able to exploit any new Superman works without a license from the Siegels and Shusters". He's also pointed out that, if Warner Bros does not start production on a new Superman sequel or reboot by 2011, the Siegels could sue to recover their damages on the grounds that the deal should have contained a clause in which the rights returned to the owners after a given time if no film was in development. The heirs of Siegel have already been awarded half the copyright for Superman. And in 2013 the heirs of co-creator Joe Shuster get the remaining half. After that, neither DC Comics nor Warner Bros will be able to use Superman without a financial agreement with the heirs. There are also stipulations on what parts of the origins story can be used in future Superman movies and which require re-negotiations with the creators' heirs or estates.

At first, Warner Bros felt no pressure to rush out another Superman pic. As Warner Bros chairman Alan Horn told a court hearing about rights to Superman, he hoped to make another Superman movie but no film was in development, no script had been written, and the earliest he foresaw another Superman film released would be 2012. He told the judge: "We had hopes to keep the character alive and to once again reinvent Superman. Our hope is to develop a Superman property and to try again. What hurt us is that the reviews and so on for the Superman movie did not get the kind of critical acclaim that Batman got, and we have other issues with Superman that concern us."

So Warner Bros is now bringing in Batman's saviour. What Nolan would do with the Superman character and story is intriguing to say the least. And he has the experience necessary of prepping and pepping a played-out franchise. The 2005 Batman Begins grossed $373 million worldwide on a reported $150 million budget. And of course 2008’s The Dark Knight crossed the $1 billion worldwide gross mark on a reported $185 million budget (and Heath Ledger posthumously won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor).

But Batman has always been The Dark Knight. But there's a big difference between Superman's cinematic incarnation and comic-book version. Warner Brothers and DC Comics for a long time weren’t sure which version they liked better. The cinematic version has been squeaky clean, occasionally campy, and has more-or-less unlimited power except when confronted with Kryptonite. The comic book version has some limits on his powers, can be darker, and fights aliens a lot more. Shortly after Dark Knight hit it big, fans assumed that Superman would be taken to the “dark” side as well. That's because Warner Bros mogul Jeff Robinov stressed post-Dark Knight that "we have to look at how to make these movies edgier". One of our insiders interpreted this to say: "He meant more sophisticated."

A more comic-accurate Superman seems like the way to go. No need to worry: Chris Nolan knows what he's doing.
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Re: AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO THINKS CHRISTOPHER NOLAN IS A GENIUS?
« Reply #109 on: February 09, 2010, 10:06:54 AM »
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Yep, this is the best news.  The Batman part is best, the Superman part is nice too.
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

socketlevel

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Re: AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO THINKS CHRISTOPHER NOLAN IS A GENIUS?
« Reply #110 on: February 09, 2010, 12:33:05 PM »
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ya i'm more into the batman news. meh who cares about superman, it's an overrated franchise to begin with.

i'm kinda getting sick of comic book shit too. even if it's really good, it feels so limited by the genre. we all need a break from it so it can feel fresh again.
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MacGuffin

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Re: AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO THINKS CHRISTOPHER NOLAN IS A GENIUS?
« Reply #111 on: March 10, 2010, 11:43:17 AM »
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Christopher Nolan takes flight with Superman: 'We have a fantastic story'
Source: Los Angeles Times

The topic at the Batcave on Monday night was the future of that other superhero — you, know, the one from Metropolis. “It’s very exciting, we have a fantastic story,” Christopher Nolan said while sipping tea in the sleek editing suite that fills the converted garage adjacent to his Hollywood home. “And we feel we can do it right. We know the milieu, if you will, we know the genre and how to get it done right.”

Nolan was standing next to his wife, producer Emma Thomas, his partner in all of his films — including “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight,” the grim franchise that pulled in more than $1.3 billion at theaters worldwide — and he was explaining their plan to take on a challenge that has frustrated Hollywood for two decades: Getting another Superman film franchise off the ground.

Nolan, speaking about the Superman project for the first time, is pleased with the excitement stirred but, like the magicians in his 2006  film “The Prestige,” sees no value in revealing all of his tricks before the curtain goes up. Still, he wanted to answer some of the early questions about his plans for Superman — as well as his third visit to Gotham City.

There was a spasm of fan excitement when word leaked last month that Nolan, who is now viewed as the Hitchcock of superhero cinema after his two Batman films, would be the “godfather” for a reboot of the Man of Steel, acting as producer and mentor to an as-yet-unnamed-director who will be making a movie based on a story by Nolan and frequent collaborator David S. Goyer.

The Internet flurry that included reports that, according to Thomas, might be better described as fan fiction. The dispatches revealing that the film will be called “Man of Steel” ? and feature Lex Luthor and Brainiac? Or the one about it being a period piece with something like a low-fi version of the hero?

 “I don’t know where this stuff comes from,” Thomas said with a chuckle, although, as with any good poker player, it’s hard to say where the bluff starts and ends.

This much is certain: The couple are completely focused on the movie-of-the-moment, which is “Inception,” which opens July 19 and stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a dream thief of sorts in what may be Hollywood’s first metaphysical heist film. The movie is the most complicated undertaking of Nolan’s career — it was shot in six countries and tells a tale that flips between reality and three levels of dream-time — and, well, all things considered, he’d rather Superman stay in his Fortress of Solitude and off the front page for a while longer since that project is a matter for 2012 or 2013 at best.

But, of course, Superman, first superhero of them all, is an American pop culture icon on par with Mickey Mouse and Elvis. But after the close of the Christopher Reeve era with “Superman IV: The Quest for Peace” in 1987, the property became one of the most frustrating in Hollywood. A dozen different reboots were started through the years with names attached such as Nicolas Cage, Kevin Smith, J.J. Abrams, McG and Brett Ratner and plans were trotted out to kill Superman, strip him of his powers or pit him in battle against Batman.

Finally, director Bryan Singer, who had earned credibility with comic book fans with his two “X-Men” films for Fox, delivered with “Superman Returns” in 2006 starring Brandon Routh. But the finished product was viewed as oddly lifeless by many critics. The $200-million film finished its theatrical run with a respectable $391 million worldwide but it wasn’t heroic enough to earn a sequel.

Nolan said that he admired Singer’s film, especially the way it connected in to director Richard Donner’s version of Superman and the first two movies starring Reeve. Nolan added, though, that this new movie will stand on its own.

“A lot of people have approached Superman in a lot of different ways. I only know the way that has worked for us that’s what I know how to do,” Nolan said, emphasizing the idea that Batman exists in a world where he is the only superhero and a similar approach to the Man of Steel would assure the integrity needed for the film. “Each serves to the internal logic of the story. They have nothing to do with each other.”

Still, it was a frustrating moment in the Batman franchise that led to this new Superman revival. Nolan and Goyer, a key collaborator on both Batman films, were at a story impasse on the third Batman film (which is now picking up steam as well) when, as a distraction, Goyer gave the filmmaker a daydream version of how he would tackle a story about the last son of Krypton.

“He basically told me, ‘I have this thought about how you would approach Superman,’” Nolan recalled. “I immediately got it, loved it and thought: That is a way of approaching the story I’ve never seen before that makes it incredibly exciting. I wanted to get Emma and I involved in shepherding the project right away and getting it to the studio and getting it going in an exciting way.”

Goyer is now writing the screenplay and Nolan is keeping it close to the vest.

It’s interesting where inspirations originate. Nolan put together an especially deep cast for his Batman films — the first one, for instance, featured Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, Gary Oldman and Tom Wilkinson in supporting roles. That, he said, was an idea imported from Metropolis.

“I went to the studio with the analogy of ‘I want to cast the way they did in 1978 with “Superman,”’ where they had Brando and Glenn Ford and Ned Beatty and all these fantastic actors in even small parts, which was an exotic idea for a superhero movie at the time. It really paid off, too., As a kid watching ‘Superman’ it seemed enormous and I realized later by looking at it that a lot of that was actually the casting, just having these incredibly talented people and these characterizations. And Marlon Brando is the first guy up playing Superman’s dad. It’s incredible.”

Superman, created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, was an instant success when he arrived on the publishing scene in June 1938 and he more or less created the American comic book and its signature concept, the superhero. Superman made the leap to radio in 1940 and then to the silver screen in 1948 when Kirk Alyn became the first of many actors to wear the cape. George Reeves was the face of Superman on television for 104 episodes in the 1950s while Reeve and his work in the 1970s and 1980s may be the definitive version of the hero for most fans. But the youngest fans have a view of the hero shaped more by the award-winning animated series in recent years and “Smallville,” the CW series that just got re-upped for a tenth season, making star Tom Welling the Clark Kent with the longest tenure.

Nolan, for the record, also won’t confirm that he is actually directing the third Batman film but, well, or course he is, but “Inception” isn’t in the can yet and it’s against his code. He can’t be easily tricked, either. Asked if Superman as a franchise has to overcome a deficiency of truly great villains, unlike, say, Spider-Man and Batman, he won’t bite. “That’s a very sly way of asking a question I’m not going to answer.”

Nolan says he has no idea who will direct the Superman film (there has been conjecture that it may be his brother and frequent collaborator, Jonathan Nolan) but his role appears to be comparable Peter Jackson with “District 9,” which was directed by newcomer Neill Blomkamp but benefited greatly from imprimatur of the “The Lord of the Rings” auteur. Jackson is also stepping into a similar role in Middle-earth as Guillermo del Toro takes over as director for “The Hobbit” films.

Nolan established himself as a bold and cerebral filmmaker in 2000 with “Memento,” has made a specialty of rooting stories of the fantastic in a gritty reality with psychological undertones and emphasis on using practical effects and stunt work as opposed to the magical painting brushes of CG era. All of that made him an ideal filmmaker for fight-time in the brutal gutters of Gotham but it doesn’t make the filmmaker the first obvious choice for flight-time amid the gleaming citadels of Metropolis. Warner Bros executives seem confident that he is -- and they need him to be the right man with the "Harry Potter" franchise -- and perhaps Batman -- nearing an expiration date.

Sitting in his edit bay, which is decorated with posters of Ledger as the Joker and has a skylight that rolls shut with mechanical screeching that adds to the Batcave ambiance, Nolan said he knows about storytelling and it’s difficult to dissect his work beyond that.

“We’re approaching it in a not dissimilar way in terms of trying to find an incredible story in a way that audiences can engage with it the way they engage with contemporary action films,” Nolan continued. “I think David’s approach is a very good way of doing just that.”

And that third Batman film? Jonathan Nolan is “now doing the hard work” of writing the script based on the story by his sibling Goyer. “My brother is writing a script for me and we’ll wait to see how it turns out...he’s struggling to put it together into the epic story that you want it to be.”

“Batman Begins” was the origin and back story of the hero, while “The Dark Knight” found the hero reeling as his Manichean, good vs. evil world view was  upended by a new villain, the Joker, who was a wild-card agent of chaos going up against order, be it a police department or the mob. The second film ends, literally, with Batman on the run, a fugitive.

So what happens next?

“Without getting into specifics, the key thing that makes the third film a great possibility for us is that we want to finish our story,” he said. “And in viewing it as the finishing of a story rather than infinitely blowing up the balloon and expanding the story.”

Nolan said the key characters from the two first films and the actors who play them will be back. “We have a great ensemble, that’s one of the attractions of doing another film, since we’ve been having a great time for years.”

Perhaps. But the great challenge is to find a villain (or villains) who that can not only match up with the Caped Crusader but also with Heath Ledger’s Academy Award-winning portrayal of the scabby, demented Joker. Fans have churned up the rumor mill for months now (Johnny Depp as the Riddler? Angelina Jolie as Catwoman? Philip Seymour Hoffman as the Penguin? Ben Kingsley as Hugo Strange?). But Nolan, no fan of letting cats out of the bag, declined to play along.

His villain choices to date have steered clear of strongly supernatural or super-science characters (no Man-Bat, Mr. Freeze or Poison Ivy, for instance) but he shook his head when asked if that was trajectory he would continue. He did however concede one tidbit: “It won’t be," he said, "Mr. Freeze.”

Batman has been throwing punches in the pages of DC Comics since 1939 and as the decades passed, much of the core of the character stayed the same even as Bruce Wayne’s sideburns or the profile of the Batmobile changed. Not so with film.

“I’m very excited about the end of the film, the conclusion, and what we’ve done with the characters,” Nolan said.“My brother has come up with some pretty exciting stuff. Unlike the comics, these thing don’t go on forever in film and viewing it as a story with an end is useful. Viewing it as an ending, that sets you very much on the right track about the appropriate conclusion and the essence of what tale we’re telling. And it hearkens back to that priority of trying to find the reality in these fantastic stories. That’s what we do.”
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Re: AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO THINKS CHRISTOPHER NOLAN IS A GENIUS?
« Reply #112 on: February 02, 2011, 12:58:49 PM »
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"I'm often quoted in the press talking about visual effects like an actress talks about her use of botox... I know visual effects people pride themselves on doing the impossible. I'd just like to encourage you to say no to the unreasonable..." Chris Nolan receiving the inaugural Visual Effects Society's Visionary Awardat last night. (via Deadline)
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

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Re: AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO THINKS CHRISTOPHER NOLAN IS A GENIUS?
« Reply #113 on: April 13, 2012, 11:00:50 PM »
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The Traditionalist

Christopher Nolan prefers film to digital, shoots with one camera, and doesn’t believe in 3-D. The director who resurrected Batman, made time go backward in Memento, and deconstructed dreams in Inception speaks his mind.

BY JEFFREY RESSNER

The movie-obsessed son of an English ad man and an American flight attendant, director Christopher Nolan burst upon the scene in 2000 with the film noir Memento. The $4 million independent film delivered the usual crime thriller tropes but with a meta twist—the hero’s recurring short-term memory loss was illustrated by using an intertwined pair of narratives, one moving forward in time while the other told the story backward.

With its non-linear narrative, a device Nolan would also use in later films, Memento introduced a new talent who respected hard-boiled tradition while breaking cinematic rules. After capably handling Warner Bros.’ 2002 psychological drama Insomnia, the studio entrusted him to resurrect its dormant Batman franchise. Nolan’s 2005 Batman Begins, along with its even more spectacular 2008 follow-up, The Dark Knight, brought brooding sophistication and near-Shakespearean gravitas to the familiar comic book character.

In between visits to Gotham, Nolan scaled down and directed The Prestige (2006), a period piece about rival magicians in late 19th-century London. And in 2010, he made the visually daring, labyrinthine caper film Inception, about a team of dream invaders. But behind the wild imagination that unleashed the anarchistic Joker, folded the streets of Paris like so much origami, and played out an entire story line in reverse, is a traditionalist who eschews special effects and shoots as much as he can with a single camera.

We met up with the 41-year-old Nolan as he was editing his third and final Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises, working with associates out of a comfortable house a few miles below the Hollywood sign. Despite an intense deadline to pull all the myriad pieces together and complete his director’s cut, Nolan was the picture of Zen-like calm, speaking softly and deliberately about his work.

JEFFREY RESSNER: When did you realize that directing was your life’s calling?

CHRISTOPHER NOLAN: To be honest, I’ve always made films and I never really stopped, starting with little stop-motion experiments using my dad’s Super 8 camera. In my mind, it’s all one big continuum of filmmaking and I’ve never changed. I used to noodle around with the camera but I didn’t go to film school. I studied English literature at college and pursued a straight academic qualification, all the while making my own films and wanting to make more. I paid for my first feature, Following, myself and made it with friends. We were all working full-time jobs, so we’d get together on weekends for a year, shooting about 15 minutes of raw stock every Saturday, one or two takes of everything, and getting maybe five minutes of finished film out of that. We went to the San Francisco Film Festival with it [in 1998] and Zeitgeist Films picked up distribution, which really helped me get Memento going. I got paid to direct it, I had millions of dollars in trucks and hundreds of people and everything, and I haven’t looked back since.

Q: What benefits were there in being self-taught rather than going to film school?

A: A very organic approach to understanding all the different bits of the craft. I’m interested in every different bit of filmmaking because I had to do every bit of it myself—from sound recording and ADR to editing and music. I feel very lucky to be a member of probably the last generation who cut film on a Steenbeck flatbed, physically taping it together and dropping out shots. It gave me a really good grounding in knowing overall what has to go into a film technically that was very valuable. And it meant that absolutely everything I did was simply because I was passionate and wanted to try stuff. You’re never going to learn something as profoundly as when it’s purely out of curiosity.

Q: You’re a longtime fan of detective novels, which often employ flashbacks and other time-shifting devices. Is that where your fascination for non-linear storytelling comes from?

A: Well, I had a couple of big influences. When I was 16 I read a Graham Swift novel, Waterland, that did incredible things with parallel timelines, and told a story in different dimensions that was extremely coherent. Around the same time, I remember Alan Parker’s The Wall on television, which does a very similar thing purely with imagery, using memories and dreams crossing over to other dreams and so forth. Nicolas Roeg’s The Man Who Fell to Earth and Performance were also influential. Those stuck in my head, as did a lot of crime fiction—James Ellroy, Jim Thompson—and film noirs like Jacques Tourneur’s Out of the Past, which was just staggering. Then, somehow, I got hold of a script to Pulp Fiction before the film came out and was fascinated with what Tarantino had done.

Q: You’ve often said that your favorite film is Blade Runner. What special significance does it hold for you?

A: As a kid watching films, you go through a gradual realization of what’s behind them. You start off like everyone else, thinking that actors make up the words and create the film themselves. So when I was young and looking at Alien and Blade Runner, I was going, OK, they’re different stories, different settings, really different actors, everything’s different—but there’s a very strong connection between those two films, and that is the director, Ridley Scott. I remember being struck by that, and thinking that’s the job I want.

The atmosphere of Blade Runner was also important, that feeling that there was this whole world outside the frame of the scene. You really felt there were things going on outside of those rooms where you’ve seen the film take place. That’s something I’ve always tried to carry with me. Every film should have its own world, a logic and feel to it that expands beyond the exact image that the audience is seeing.

Q: In your early films you wrote, shot, edited, even designed sets—the only thing you didn’t do was act. What process do you use working with actors?

A: What I try to do is give them whatever process they need. It may not be what they think they need, and indeed it may be counter to that, but I really try to be different [and adapt] for every actor, I try to make them comfortable, I try to get the best out of them. You hear stories of directors deliberately making actors uncomfortable, but I always make the actor feel that they have what they need to explore a scene. My uncle [John Nolan] is an actor and he’s been in several of my films. When I came to make Following, he was teaching acting so I asked him what I would need to know. He gave me a couple of Stanislavski books—An Actor Prepares was one—and said they would give me the basics. He also talked me through a few things and gave me an understanding of the craft.

Q: What did you pick up from working with actors on your early films?

A: I learned lots of things on Memento, but one thing I’ve always adhered to since then is letting actors perform as many takes as they want. I’ve come to realize that the lighting and camera setups, the technical things, take all the time, but running another take generally only adds a couple of minutes. I was shooting a very important scene with Guy Pearce in which his character is extremely upset, and it’s the lead-in to where Carrie-Anne Moss’ character takes Pearce’s shirt off and sees all the tattoos on his chest. That day, the financier of the film just happened to be visiting the set and was literally standing right behind me. We did a take that I thought was very good, and I knew we were out of time. So I asked Guy if he felt he’d gotten it, and he said, ‘No, we should do it again.’ I remember having a ‘What do I do?’ moment. Do I let him do it and risk running over? Or do I insist that we move on, which Guy would have done, because he’s flexible and professional? But I let him do another take, and that’s the one used in the film. It was very special, beyond what he had done previously, and way beyond what I had imagined was even possible for the scene. I’ve carried that with me ever since: If an actor tells me they can do something more with a scene, I give them the chance, because it’s not going to cost that much time. It can’t all be about the technical issues.

Q: How do you accommodate actors in the same film who may have different styles of working?

A: With Insomnia, Al Pacino liked to rehearse very, very carefully, block things out, and do a lot of takes. His first take would be perfect, but he really wanted to talk about things, whereas Hilary Swank didn't want to rehearse too much. She wanted to save it, then do what she was going to do in one or two takes and no more. As a director, you have to figure out how to balance those things, because you want them both to feel that they're being given the floor in the way they need for what they're doing. What I love about great actors is that you then get them in a two-shot where you think their differences will be difficult, but it isn't, because they accommodate each other’s process, they feel each other out and listen to each other.

Q: What was it like moving from the $45 million budget for Insomnia to three times that for Batman Begins? How daunting was that leap?

A:I don't know if other people’s experiences mirror my own, but for me, the difference between shooting Following with a group of friends wearing our own clothes and my mum making sandwiches to spending $4 million of somebody else’s money on Memento and having a crew of a hundred people is, to this day, by far the biggest leap I've ever made. It was a bit like learning to swim once you're out of your depth: It doesn’t make any difference if it’s 2 feet or 100 feet down to the bottom—you’re either going to drown, or not.

The difference from Insomnia to Batman Begins, I would say, is we had very large-scale sets. But I had found a production designer on Insomnia, Nathan Crowley, who'd done a lot of art directing on big, big builds, so he came on board and we figured it out together. Those sorts of logistics are quite challenging and it was the first time I'd done a major visual effects movie. But for me, the process itself has always been fundamentally the same: You stand there and look at what the scene is going to be and then everything else falls away, or it should if you’re concentrating correctly.

Q: You don’t like to shoot many takes, you only storyboard action scenes, you avoid shot lists, and you just use one camera for dramatic sequences. So how do you make directorial choices in the editing room given that you don’t seem to have a lot of coverage options?

A: Well, generally with the projects I'm working on, the script is based on some form of parallel action or shifting points of view, even when the story is linear. If you look at the last couple of reels on the Batman films, for example, they're all crosscut parallel action. What that means is, even though you shoot very specifically and efficiently, you have unlimited choices in the editing suite because you don't have to shoot complete continuity for a particular action scene. You can jump timelines or locations, so you have an enormous number of variables anyway. I'm not looking to make that process even more complicated.

Q: Does that mean you can edit more quickly?

A: On a film like Memento, I had a couple of days to edit each day’s shoot—which probably came out to a half-hour of dailies. On The Dark Knight Rises, to make that 10-week director’s cut I’ve basically got one day to cut three days of shooting—which comes to an hour or an hour and a half of footage. Just to sit there and watch it all is almost impossible, and I have massive, massive choices, even shooting in a pretty tight, efficient way. To make that more complicated—well, I might give myself more options, but I’m going to limit my editing time just to get a handle on it. I have a fantastic editor, Lee Smith, and he’s assembling as we shoot. You want to be able to sit back from the shoot and then really explore the materials. So you want to have the time to do that.

Q: Why do you prefer shooting with one camera?

A: I use multi-camera for stunts; for all the dramatic action, I use single-camera. Shooting single-camera means I've already seen every frame as it’s gone through the gate because my attention isn't divided to multi-cameras. So I see it all and I watch dailies every night. If you’re always shooting multi-camera, you shoot an enormous amount of footage, and then you have to go in and start from scratch, which is tricky time-wise.

Q: Without shot lists or storyboards, how do you keep track of everything?

A: In my head. I've always been able to visualize what I want mentally, and I can lie there at night and cut the film in my head, one shot at a time, all the way through the whole thing. Watching dailies, which everybody used to have to do but now seems to be much more of an option, is an important process for memorizing the material. After memorizing it, you can then cut it in your head as you proceed, and when you get into the edit suite you know exactly where to find things. I can say to my editor, 'You know, we shot a different angle on this' or whatever, and tell him where to find it.

Q: You and your cameraman, Wally Pfister, are—along with Steven Spielberg—among the last holdouts who shoot on film in an industry that’s moved to digital. What’s your attraction to the older medium?

A: For the last 10 years, I've felt increasing pressure to stop shooting film and start shooting video, but I've never understood why. It's cheaper to work on film, it's far better looking, it’s the technology that's been known and understood for a hundred years, and it's extremely reliable. I think, truthfully, it boils down to the economic interest of manufacturers and [a production] industry that makes more money through change rather than through maintaining the status quo. We save a lot of money shooting on film and projecting film and not doing digital intermediates. In fact, I've never done a digital intermediate. Photochemically, you can time film with a good timer in three or four passes, which takes about 12 to 14 hours as opposed to seven or eight weeks in a DI suite. That’s the way everyone was doing it 10 years ago, and I've just carried on making films in the way that works best and waiting until there’s a good reason to change. But I haven't seen that reason yet.

Q: Have you ever thought about communicating your feelings to the industry and other directors?

A: I’ve kept my mouth shut about this for a long time and it’s fine that everyone has a choice, but for me the choice is in real danger of disappearing. So right before Christmas I brought some filmmakers together and showed them the prologue for The Dark Knight Rises that we shot on IMAX film, then cut from the original negative and printed. I wanted to give them a chance to see the potential, because I think IMAX is the best film format that was ever invented. It’s the gold standard and what any other technology has to match up to, but none have, in my opinion. The message I wanted to put out there was that no one is taking anyone’s digital cameras away. But if we want film to continue as an option, and someone is working on a big studio movie with the resources and the power to insist [on] film, they should say so. I felt as if I didn’t say anything, and then we started to lose that option, it would be a shame. When I look at a digitally acquired and projected image, it looks inferior against an original negative anamorphic print or an IMAX one.

Q: What does IMAX give you that you don’t get from anamorphic 35 mm or 65 mm?

A: We shot 5-perf 65 mm for a few scenes in Inception and I liked the results a lot, plus you can use sound with it. But IMAX has three times the negative area of that format. It’s such a leap up in terms of quality that if you’re working on a film that’s such a large-scale production you can embrace the more cumbersome technology, and allow for it and build it into your production process, then what you get in terms of quality when you’re shooting is pretty extraordinary. For The Dark Knight Rises we were on Wall Street with a thousand extras, and you can see everybody’s face in the frame. In some ways, I feel it takes me back almost to the silent film era, when they had those huge cameras. Trying to do things in more of a tableau fashion, it changes the way I direct a film, it changes the way I block the camera movement because of the size of the thing. The resulting image has so much power that you don’t need to cut in the same way, you can frame the shot slightly differently, you wind up with a slightly different feel.

Q: Have you shot all of your big-budget films on IMAX?

A: We didn’t shoot IMAX for Inception because we were trying to portray the reality of dreams rather than their extraordinary nature, so we used a handheld camera and shot it in a more spontaneous way. Whereas the operatic quality of The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises felt very well suited to IMAX’s larger canvas. So it’s different depending on what film you want to do. But, in each case, as a filmmaker who’s been given sizable budgets with which to work, I feel a responsibility to the audience to be shooting with the absolute highest quality technology that I can and make the film in a way that I want.

Q: Because of the kind of films you make, people might assume you use lots of computer-generated imagery, but you actually prefer models, mattes, and in-camera effects. When do you like to use CGI?

A: The thing with computer-generated imagery is that it’s an incredibly powerful tool for making better visual effects. But I believe in an absolute difference between animation and photography. However sophisticated your computer-generated imagery is, if it’s been created from no physical elements and you haven’t shot anything, it’s going to feel like animation. There are usually two different goals in a visual effects movie. One is to fool the audience into seeing something seamless, and that’s how I try to use it. The other is to impress the audience with the amount of money spent on the spectacle of the visual effect, and that, I have no interest in. We try to enhance our stunt work and floor effects with extraordinary CGI tools like wire and rig removals. If you put a lot of time and effort into matching your original film elements, the kind of enhancements you can put into the frames can really trick the eye, offering results far beyond what was possible 20 years ago. The problem for me is if you don’t first shoot something with the camera on which to base the shot, the visual effect is going to stick out if the film you’re making has a realistic style or patina. I prefer films that feel more like real life, so any CGI has to be very carefully handled to fit into that.

Q: Perhaps the most famous effects scene in any of your films is the tumbling hallway sequence in Inception, which you did without green screens or computers but used an actual tumbling hallway. Why did you decide to go old school for that?

A: I grew up as a huge fan of Kubrick’s 2001, and was fascinated by the way in which he built that centrifugal set so that the astronauts could jog all around and upside down. I found his illusions completely convincing and mind-blowing. It was one of those rare instances that, when you find out how the trick is done, it’s even more impressive. So I’ve always wanted to do something like that, and with Inception I had the opportunity and resources to do it within an action context. To take that trick and push it in a different direction fulfilled one of my childhood ambitions. So many techniques change in filmmaking over the years, and many of the things you grew up admiring you will never get the opportunity to do. But that large-scale physical effect was still the best way to do the sequence, and it was really fun.

Q: Speaking of technical changes, was there any pressure to do The Dark Knight Rises in 3-D?

A: Warner Bros. would have been very happy, but I said to the guys there that I wanted it to be stylistically consistent with the first two films and we were really going to push the IMAX thing to create a very high-quality image. I find stereoscopic imaging too small scale and intimate in its effect. 3-D is a misnomer. Films are 3-D. The whole point of photography is that it’s three-dimensional. The thing with stereoscopic imaging is it gives each audience member an individual perspective. It’s well suited to video games and other immersive technologies, but if you're looking for an audience experience, stereoscopic is hard to embrace. I prefer the big canvas, looking up at an enormous screen and at an image that feels larger than life. When you treat that stereoscopically, and we've tried a lot of tests, you shrink the size so the image becomes a much smaller window in front of you. So the effect of it, and the relationship of the image to the audience, has to be very carefully considered. And I feel that in the initial wave to embrace it, that wasn’t considered in the slightest.
DGA Quarterly Interview Chris Nolan The Dark Knight

Q: In terms of imagery and style, would you say there are any constants running through all your films?

A: An absolute concern with point of view. Whether in the pure camera blocking or even the writing, it’s all about point of view. I can’t cut a scene if I haven’t already figured out whose point of view I'm looking at, and I can’t shoot the scene in a neutral way. I've tried to use more objective camera techniques—a longer lens, flattening things out, using multi-camera—but they don’t work. It's funny, you were asking about 3-D and one of the things that happened when the craze came back was various aspects of conversion. The way I shoot film is actually very conducive to converting to 3-D because I'm always thinking of the camera as a participant. I don’t use zoom lenses, for example, so I don't reframe using the zoom. Instead, we always move the camera physically closer and put a different focal length on. Stylistically, something that runs through my films is the shot that walks into a room behind a character, because to me, that takes me inside the way that the character enters. I think those point-of-view issues are very important.

Q:You’ve worked with the same directorial team—1st AD Nilo Otero, 2nd AD Richard Graysmark, and 2nd 2nd Greg Pawlik—on several of your films. What do you expect from them?

A: I’m looking to the ADs to bring everything to set in a timely fashion, and make sure all the different pieces of the puzzle work. I almost never get to leave the set. I have to go pee sometimes, of course, but otherwise I’m there by the camera the whole time, and so I really rely on the AD to wheel in all the different elements. Because I also like to work very fast and work single-camera, I have to keep things moving very smoothly. I rely on Nilo to keep a quiet set with no cell phones, and hopefully without making things too tense. He does a good job making people feel at ease, while also making it clear that we’re going to be extremely focused on the work that’s going on.

Q: Another thing that’s unique about your style, especially for such big films, is that you choose to work without a second unit. Why is that?

A: Let me put it this way: If I don’t need to be directing the shots that go in the movie, why do I need to be there at all? The screen is the same size for every shot. The little shot of, say, a watch on someone’s wrist, will occupy the same screen size as the shot of a thousand people running down the street. Everything is equally weighted and needs to be considered with equal care, I really do believe that. I don’t understand the criteria for parceling things off. Many action films embrace a second unit taking on all of the action. For me, that’s odd because then why did you want to do an action film? Having said that, there are fantastic filmmakers who use second and third units successfully. So it all comes back to the question of defining what a director does. Each of us works in different ways. It’s really helped me keep more of my personality in these big films. There’s a danger with big-action fare that the presence of the filmmaker is watered down, it can become very neutral, so I’ve tried to keep my point of view in every aspect of these films.

Q: You’re known for getting down to business quickly on the set. Roughly how many setups do you like to do in a day?

A: A very large number, given the single-camera approach. On Memento I remember a day when we did 53 setups with one camera. That was born out of necessity, but it was also very inspiring, very invigorating to be able to do a lot of different bits of storytelling in one day. I do like moving fast, and I can be quite impatient in that way, but I think the energy helps the project. I don’t like days on set where you don’t have enough to do. It happens very rarely. Generally, you never have enough time.

Q: You also don’t do re-shoots for your films. How do you avoid that?

A: I’ve never done a re-shoot, knock on wood. It all comes down to editing, just craft, just hammering it with my editor every day, trying radical cuts, pulling things out, abandoning bits of exposition, saying, ‘OK, does the audience really need to understand this? What if they don’t?’ I always overwrite the exposition in my scripts so that I’ve got multiple ways to get a point across. If you tell the audience something three times they won’t understand it, but if you tell them only once, they will. It’s an odd thing. So a lot of cutting for time is, for me, cutting for clarity. It’s finding where you can just pull dialogue out that you have overwritten, so you can find that one simple way an audience can get the right point.

Q: What are the issues in the industry you’re concerned about?

A: Copyright theft is a very important issue. While studios have been a bit late to realize that, I’m pleased the Guild has taken a real lead. I think it’s very important that both filmmakers and studios understand the importance of protecting their copyrights. I’ve worked at both ends of the spectrum and, yes, you can get a group of friends together and make a movie without spending lots of money. But if you’re going to be paid and make a living, and if you employ talented craftspeople who need to make a living, it’s always going to be an expensive form. The only way to ever get paid for it is by controlling the sale and distribution of the copyrighted material. Anyone who profits through theft, and certainly anyone getting advertising revenue off of somebody else’s copyrights, should be prosecuted, shut down, and held accountable. A lot of the laws are already in place, so it’s just a question of enforcing them. Judges and juries must understand what copyright theft really is.

Q: You joined the DGA after Memento. What would you tell a young director who is considering joining the Guild?

A: I got a DGA nomination for Memento, and I remember being impressed with the confidence and the values of the Guild, in that it didn’t matter to them if I wasn’t a member when I made that film. I joined for Insomnia, which was my first studio project. I think the protections afforded by the Guild are very important, particularly because directors are in a tricky creative relationship whenever they make a studio film. Ultimately, studios have all the power since they’re financing the picture. But having that 10-week director’s cut in which you’re able to work in private, without interference, and say, ‘Let me put this together in such a way so you can see what’s shot and how it was intended to be seen,’ is incredibly important. That alone is one of the key reasons to be part of the brotherhood.

Q: One last thing: I’ve noticed that while many of your peers wear casual clothing and baseball caps to work, it’s not unusual for you to sport a dark suit or a white linen jacket on the set. Why get so dressed up?

A: [laughs] I went to a boarding school where we had to wear a uniform, and I got used to using all the pockets in my jacket. It’s just what I’m comfortable in. I don’t like to think about what to wear, so I just wear the same thing every day. When I first started shooting with a crew on Memento I remember trying to pick up a sandbag and everyone was shouting at me that I wasn’t allowed to do that because there were specific people for that job. As much as I’d like to be able to get my hands dirty, I don’t usually get to do so. So I dress the way I would for a day at the office. It’s just easier that way.

Source


wilder

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Re: AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO THINKS CHRISTOPHER NOLAN IS A GENIUS?
« Reply #114 on: December 07, 2013, 03:00:54 AM »
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SailorOfTheSeas

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Re: AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO THINKS CHRISTOPHER NOLAN IS A GENIUS?
« Reply #115 on: May 18, 2014, 03:01:50 PM »
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Interstellar new trailer!

03

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Re: AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO THINKS CHRISTOPHER NOLAN IS A GENIUS?
« Reply #116 on: May 18, 2014, 04:02:30 PM »
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so wait what. christopher nolans armageddon? wtf is going on here. looks very awesome though.

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“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


Skeleton FilmWorks

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Re: AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO THINKS CHRISTOPHER NOLAN IS A GENIUS?
« Reply #118 on: July 09, 2014, 03:09:19 PM »
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Christopher Nolan on Future of Film: ‘It’s Unthinkable That Extraordinary New Work Won’t Emerge’

From Variety, Dave McNary


With four months to go before Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi drama “Interstellar” comes to theaters, the director has peered hopefully into the future of cinema.

He forecasts major bumps along the way, but also plenty of opportunity for filmmakers because of the basic appeal of the medium in a column for the Wall Street Journal.

“We moan about intrusive moviegoers, but most of us feel a pang of disappointment when we find ourselves in an empty theater,” he notes.

The article’s titled “Christopher Nolan: Films of the Future Will Still Draw People to Theaters” with the subtitle “When Movies Can Look or Sound Like Anything, Says the ‘Dark Knight’ Director, Extraordinary Work Will Emerge.”

One of Nolan’s key points is that movies are heading for a future in which they become  essentially channels on a dial — those with the biggest “ratings” will be given more screenings and those that don’t will be ditched quickly.

“The distributor or theater owner (depending on the vital question of who controls the remote) would be able to change the content being played, instantly,” he wrote. “A movie’s Friday matinees would determine whether it even gets an evening screening, or whether the projector switches back to last week’s blockbuster. This process could even be automated based on ticket sales in the interests of ‘fairness.’”

That would mean that smaller, more unusual films would be shut out for awhile.

“Innovation would shift entirely to home-based entertainment, with the remaining theaters serving exclusively as gathering places for fan-based or branded-event titles,” he added.

“This bleak future is the direction the industry is pointed in, but even if it arrives it will not last,” Nolan said. “Once movies can no longer be defined by technology, you unmask powerful fundamentals—the timelessness, the otherworldliness, the shared experience of these narratives.”

And Nolan believes the film business will respond to the changing circumstances.

“The public will lay down their money to those studios, theaters and filmmakers who value the theatrical experience and create a new distinction from home entertainment that will enthrall—just as movies fought back with widescreen and multitrack sound when television first nipped at its heels,” he asserted.

The theaters of the future will be bigger and more beautiful than ever before, Nolan added.

“They will employ expensive presentation formats that cannot be accessed or reproduced in the home (such as, ironically, film prints),” he added. “And they will still enjoy exclusivity, as studios relearn the tremendous economic value of the staggered release of their products.”

Nolan also predicted that new voices will emerge amid the despair that there is nothing left to be discovered.

“As in the early ’90s, when years of bad multiplexing had soured the public on movies, and a young director named Quentin Tarantino ripped through theaters with a profound sense of cinema’s past and an instinct for reclaiming cinema’s rightful place at the head of popular culture,” he added.

And Nolan noted that the absence of formal standards offers tremendous opportunities.

“Whether photochemical or video-based, a film can now look or sound like anything,” he said. “It’s unthinkable that extraordinary new work won’t emerge from such an open structure. That’s the part I can’t wait for.”

Mel

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Re: AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO THINKS CHRISTOPHER NOLAN IS A GENIUS?
« Reply #119 on: August 24, 2014, 01:12:28 PM »
+1


In this interview, Nolan explains his key to success and ends up revealing many of the DIY filmmaking techniques he used to make Following.
Simple mind - simple pleasures...

 

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