Last night, we took a piece of the Christopher Nolan interview from the Hero Complex Film Festival that intrigued us the most – that of Batman 3‘s potential to be released in 3D. Today, we are here to present the entire interview.
Talk ranges from Robin Williams’ performance in Insomnia to Nolan’s favorite scene in The Dark Knight. While the filmmaker is a stoic, stone-cold interview, he cracks a joke here and there with an unmistakably sly demeanor.
I took a seat in the third row of the Mann’s Chinese 6 Theater – prime position to see the 39-year-old director discuss his impressive career. But first, the audience was treated to a screening of the highly underrated thriller, Insomnia.
When the last reel finished, a dark theater sat in silence, anticipating the appearance of Nolan. Suddenly there was a loud boom from the screen that everybody in attendance instantly recognized – it was the Inception trailer. The entire audience erupted into applause. That applause was one-upped only moments later by a standing ovation for the entrance of Christopher Nolan.
The interview is lengthy, but if you want to skip around:
- Nolan discusses his early work
- Nolan talks Inception
- Nolan talks Batman & Superman
- Nolan does Q&A and talks 3D
After a gracious thank you to Geoff Boucher for the invitation, Nolan asked the audience what they thought of Insomnia after all these years. The curiosity was greeted with another rousing applause, and deservedly so, for a truly underrated film.
The interview began with a related question on the performance of Robin Williams, who took a hard 180 on his comedic career to portray the villain in Insomnia. Said Nolan:
“…What I thought of Robin, was, well he is an extraordinary guy to work with and he really gave what I consider to be a flawless performance. I wound up watching the film hundreds of times as we cut it, and I never hit that point with the performance where you start to see the acting. Most performances, at a point, bits start to peel off and away, but with Robin’s he was very much in that character. Not that he’s a very dark person to work with – he’s very lively and friendly and amusing to work with. He really found something within himself. I think it’s a very underrated bit of work on his part.”
Next was the issue of timing and how it may have affected his other work. After all, The Prestige was forced to battle another magic-related film of that year, The Illusionist. Nolan was respectful to the other films that have come along during his career, stating that every film anybody makes will have competition of a similar nature.
“…When I was shopping Memento around in script form, there was this script with very similar premise at the same time that was going to be a big film. It’s called The Lookout. It wound up not getting made at the same time. It got made a few years later with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who I just worked with, and that was very fortunate for us. There’s always something else out there. Certainly, when we were doing Batman Begins there was no shortage of superhero movies that may be too close to you. At a point you just have to take a leap of faith and say, ‘We are going to do this and hope we can find our space in the marketplace.’”
Christopher Nolan has repeatedly announced his affinity for the editing process in filmmaking. While he is known better as a writer/director, he spends a lot of time in the editing suite tightening his films in post-production.
Though he enjoys every aspect of directing, he can’t help but notice how tedious it becomes. Nolan mentions that by the end of production, he is essentially worn down and that “you’re really almost doing some paint by numbers.”