The Exacting, Expansive Mind of Christopher Nolan

27 November 2014Movies

Gideon Lewis-Kraus, writing for The New York Times Magazine:

Nolan, whose eight movies over 14 years have together generated just more than $3.5 billion in revenue, puts an extraordinary amount of time and effort into engineering believably ample worlds. He tries to build maps the size of the territory, whole cities from the ground up in disused airship hangars (as he’s done for four of his movies at a former R.A.F. facility outside London), even if he’s going to shoot just a few street-corner scenes. Sue Kroll, the president of worldwide marketing for Warner Bros., told me she once got actually lost in the ersatz rain falling on an ersatz Gotham. Nolan learned the value of such sweep from Ridley Scott. The genius of “Blade Runner,” he told me, is that “you never feel like you’ve gotten close to the edge of the world.”

Christopher Nolan has been my favourite director for some time. I think a big reason for that is his extensive use of IMAX film and his ability to create stunning visual effects from real props rather than relying on computer-generated graphics. If you haven’t watched the bonus material accompanying his films, you should – I was shocked to learn just how many of the scenes in his films rely on live-action stunts rather than green-screens. The flipping tractor-trailer in The Dark Knight, the train running down the middle of a street in Inception, and the Batpod are a few examples.