Christopher Nolan is one of the most respected filmmakers today and these are his favorite films.
Seen as one of the biggest filmmakers of contemporary cinema, Christopher Nolan is one of the rare cases that manages captivate audiences and critics with big-budget works and laudable artistic ambitions. On his resume are films such as the trilogy “Batman”, “The origin”, “Interstellar” or “Dunkirk“.
This year, Christopher Nolan’s name is once again on the agenda thanks to the unprecedented success of his most recent triumph, “Oppenheimer”. Right now, it’s the big favorite to the Oscar in Best Director.
Like any good filmmaker, Nolan is above all a cinephileknowledgeable and appreciative of seventh Art. Over the years, Nolan has talked about some of his favorites in various interviews and how they have impacted his work.
In this list, we present nine of these works that deserved recognition and prominence from Christopher Nolan in the past.
METROPOLIS (1927), DE FRITZ LANG
The city of Metropolis is divided in two: on one side are the workers, living in poverty and exploited by machines. On the other, there are the politicians, who enjoy an idyllic garden. One love story appears between the two ends of the city.
THE TESTAMENT OF DR. MABUSE (1933), BY FRITZ LANG
Police inspector Lohmann (Otto Wernicke) investigates several crimes in which some clues lead him to a man who has been admitted to a hospital for the mentally ill for many years, Dr. Mabuse (Rudolf Klein-Rogge).
For Nolan, this film brings Lang at his “most perverse and fun”. The filmmaker also argues that it is “essential research for anyone trying to write a supervillain”.
LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962), DE DAVID LEAN
Lawrence (Peter O’Toole) is a British soldier who, in 1916, in the middle of First World Waris tasked by the government of his country with unifying the Arab tribes living in the area that is now known as Saudi Arabia, fighting the Turkish army.
The epic scale on which Lean films is something clearly present in the movie theater by Nolan and the accomplishedr as a great defender of this way of filming, he has already used this work as an example to defend film, according to Christopher Nolan “the very subtle details of the shadows and the particular tone of the skies” emerge much earlier in this version than in the digital one.
2001: SPACE ODYSSEY (1968), DE STANLEY KUBRICK
Upon seeing this classic again, Nolan confesses to being quite impressed, “I felt this extraordinary experience of being taken to another world”. Adding that “you don’t doubt this world for an instant”.
Many argue that “Interstellar” drinks a lot from the source of this film and Nolan doesn’t hide it by saying that “you can’t pretend that “2001” doesn’t exist”.
MOMENTS OF GLORY (1981), DE HUGH HUDSON
The story of two British track and field athletes, one determined Jew and one devout Christian, who compete in the 1924 Olympics.
Revealing that this work inspired “Dunkirk”Nolan states that “The visual splendor, intertwining narratives and aggressively anachronistic music of Hugh Hudson’s ‘Chariots of Fire’ combined to create a masterpiece of British understatement whose popularity quickly obscured its radical nature.”
THE ELECTED (1983), DE PHILIP KAUFMAN
Adapted from the work of the same name by Tom Wolfethe feature film portrays the first fifteen years of the American space program, focusing on the life of John Glenn (Ed Harris) and Alan Shepard (ScottGlenn), and the dangers and frustrations experienced by those involved with NASA.
In “The Right Stuff”, astronauts fight bureaucracy and their family problems in order to win the space race on behalf of their country.
When he spoke he was influenced by “2001” in “Interstellar”, Nolan also revealed that this 80s classic played a leading role, “I showed a copy to the team before we started, because it’s a film that few people have seen on the big screen. It’s an almost perfect film. It’s one of the great American films and people don’t realize how good it is – probably because it’s four hours long.”
BLADE RUNNER – IMMINENT DANGER (1984), DE RIDLEY SCOTT
In the 21st century, a corporation develops human clones to be used as slaves in colonies outside Earth, identified as replicants. In 2019, former police officer Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is called upon to hunt down a fugitive group living undercover in Los Angeles.
Among the many elements that Christopher Nolan admires in this work of Ridley Scottthe director highlights that it is “in fact one of the most successful films of all time in terms of constructing a reality using sets”.
For this reason, this was the main reference when he needed to idealize the city of Gotham in “Batman Begins“, “I immediately gravitated towards the visual treatment that Ridley Scott created, in terms of how you film these huge sets so that they look like real locations and not impressive sets.”
SPEED – DANGER AT HIGH SPEED (1994), DE JAN DE BONT
In Los Angeles, psychopath Howard Payne (Dennis Hopper) placed a bomb inside a bus, which will explode if the vehicle’s speed is below 80 km/h. Thus, agent Jack Traven (Keanu Reeves) and together with passenger Annie Porter (Sandra Bullock) will have to keep the vehicle’s speed constant or everyone will die.
Cited as one of the references in “Dunkirk”, the filmmaker is impressed with the rhythm and intensity of the work, classifying it as an authentic “ticking clock nail biter“.
HEAT – CITY UNDER PRESSURE (1995), DE MICHAEL MANN
A game of cat and mouse played by Al Pacino It is Robert De Niro. On one side, we have Vincent Hanna (Pacino), an obsessed LAPD lieutenant. On the other, Neil McCauley (De Niro), a notorious perfectionist and lonely bank robber.
In 2016, Christopher Nolan moderated a Q&A with the presence of Mann, Pacino and De Niro to celebrate the work’s 20th anniversary. Nolan began by revealing his initial skepticism about the feature film, because it was being hailed as a new American classic. The filmmaker resisted, as he believed that the genre of police and thief it was quite worn.
When he saw the film, he soon realized that it transcended any of these labels and confesses that it “draws inspiration for his work”, something that has already been highlighted by critics, mainly in the scene opening of “The dark Knight“.
And you, are you a fan of Christopher Nolan? Have you ever thought about the influence of these films on your career?