Christopher Nolan on Inception
By Fred Topel | Image property of Warner Bros
Ever since teases of Inception started trickling out last year, it’s been the most anticipated movie of 2010. It’s actually been almost 10 years in the making for Christopher Nolan.
Christopher Nolan Talks Inception
“When I first pitched the studio the project, it was about ten years ago, and I’d just finished Insomnia,” Nolan said. “Really, the pitch was very much the movie you see, although I hadn’t figured out the emotional core of the story and that took me a long time to do. I think I sort of grew into the film in a sense. I had the heist theme, I had the relationship between architecture and dreams, the idea that you would use an architect to design a dream for somebody else and all of that. All of those things were in place for several years, but it took me a long time to sort of find this idea of emotionally connecting with the story. Because when I look at heist movies, and I wanted it to feel like a heist movie, they tend to be almost deliberately superficial. They tend not to have high emotional stakes, so what I realized over the years and the thing I got stuck on was that doesn’t work when you’re talking about dreams, because the whole thing about the human mind and dreams is that it has to have emotional consequences and resonances. And so that was really my process over the years, finding my relationship with the love story, the tragedy of it with the emotional side.”
Now it just happens to be his follow-up to the biggest movie of the last decade (until that blue alien movie came out.) “I was asked after doing The Dark Knight whether I felt any particular pressure on the next film, and it’s not really the case. I put it this way: I felt a responsibility. It’s not that often that you get to have a large commercial success and then have something that you want to do that you can excite people about, so it’s a great opportunity, and the responsibility we felt in doing that was to make what we felt was to make the best film possible, the most interesting film possible because obviously with the success of The Dark Knight we were in a position where the studio was prepared to put a lot of faith in us and trust in us to really do something special. Those opportunities are very rare for filmmakers, and I felt a responsibility to really try and do something memorable with it.”
Inception may also be the first Christopher Nolan original audiences see. Even Memento was based on a short story. “I think the thing that some people find surprising about the source material if you will - whether it’s a comic book adaptation, a remake of another film or if it’s a sequel, - the interesting thing about an original concept is that particularly with the sort of ten year gap it took me from my sort of initial set of ideas and finishing the screenplay, by the time you get there, you’ve lived with those ideas for so long that it really isn’t that different from working from somebody else’s story, for example. As with <B>Memento</B> when I adapted my brother’s short story, the same thing happens. You take this story on as your own, and because the screenwriting process is a very long one for me, it takes years really to put a script together, by the time you get there at the end, it starts to feel a little bit irrelevant as to where you started from. So the experience has been quite similar, in fact.”
Inception may also be the only 2-D film you see this summer. You may have read Nolan’s comments about preferring good old fashioned film, but he explained them again. “We looked at shooting on various different formats before we went to shoot, including 3-D technology but also Showscan, 65 mil, which we eventually fixed on. Then when we edited the film, we looked at the post conversion process and did some very good tests. But, when I really looked at the time period we had and where my attention needed to be in finishing the film, I decided that I didn’t have enough time to do it to the standard I would have liked. I think the question of 3-D really is one for audiences in a sense. The tests we looked at, it’s perfectly possible to post-convert a film very well. I like not having glasses when I watch a movie and I like being able to see a very bright, immersive image. So I think at the end of the day, I’m extremely happy to be putting the film out with 35 mil film prints very brightly projected with the highest possible image quality. That’s really what excites me.”
Inception opens to theaters on July 16th.
For the trailers, posters, stills, review and movie info, go to the Inception Movie Page.
Sources: Image property of Warner Bros
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