Nolan Talks About Sci-Fi Influences on Interstellar

Interstellar Bladerunner

Entertainment Weekly recently published a great article about Stanley Kubrick’s influence on cinema, and in it they spoke to noted filmmakers such as Edgar Wright and Christopher Nolan. The multi-page write-up cites Kubrick’s ability to turn stories into his own as an influence, as well as everything from the editing and pacing of his films, to Douglas Trumbull’s cutting-edge special effects. I find all of these super interesting to consider when thinking of what is influencing Christopher Nolan as he gears up for production on Interstellar; something that is no doubt circling a lot of our minds right now. Luckily for us, Entertainment Weekly asked him about it:

I think anytime you look at science fiction in movies, there are key touchstones. Metropolis. Blade Runner. 2001. Whenever you’re talking about getting off the planet, 2001 is somewhat unavoidable. But there is only one 2001. So you don’t want to get too near to that.
– Christopher Nolan

Getting off of the planet, you say? Interesting clue there, Mr. Nolan. Christopher goes on to talk about the differences he sees between Kubrick and himself.

From a storytelling point of view, from a directing point of view, there is one thing I associate with what he does, which is calm. There is such an inherent calm and inherent trust of the one powerful image, that he makes me embarrassed with my own work, in terms of how many different shots, how many different sound effects, how many different things we’ll throw at an audience to make an impression. But with Kubrick, there is such a great trust of the one correct image to calmly explain something to audience. There can be some slowness to the editing. There’s nothing frenetic about it. It’s very simple. There’s a trust in simple storytelling and simple image making that actually takes massive confidence to try and emulate.
– Christopher Nolan

Nolan does, however, see that confidence, difficult as it may be, as something to aspire to.

You look at the [bone-throw] cut in 2001, this vast jump forward — the confidence that takes to do that is actually enormous. Would I love to do things like that in my own work? Yes. But I don’t think I have the confidence to do that. Which is why there is only one Stanley Kubrick. I do believe he is inimitable. But you can be inspired. You can be inspired to aspire to be that confident.
– Christopher Nolan

A calmness and trust in the image. A confidence in being bold. And a admiration of the storytelling, the craft, and the cutting-edge special effects. These are a few of the things that appear to be influencing Nolan. In the article, Nolan also talks about Star Wars, as well as the first time he saw 2001: A Space Odyssey in theaters. Head over to EW to read the full write-up. Thanks to Dragon_316ca for the heads-up.

by Teddy Blass