Posted on Monday, April 8th, 2013 by Germain Lussier
When the name “Christopher Nolan” is attached to a project, anticipation immediately shoots into the stratosphere. That’s what happened last month when the Memento, Inception and Dark Knight director revealed the sci-fi film Interstellar would be his next movie. The film, which once had Steven Spielberg attached, is about “a heroic interstellar voyage to the furthest reaches of our scientific understanding” inspired by the theories of theoretical physicist, gravitational physicist and astrophysicist Kip Thorne. Matthew McConaughey is set to star.
Beyond those facts, little is known about the film, but new slivers of information will slowly come to light on the way to its November 7, 2014 release date. The latest one is how Nolan framed his sci-fi film in regards to classics of the genre. Read his quote below.
Nolan was one of many filmmakers asked to reflect on the work of Stanley Kubrick by Entertainment Weekly, and Nolan Fans picked up the reference. They slyly asked if he was thinking about 2001: A Space Odyssey while prepping Interstellar:
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.
So Interstellar goes off the planet, which seemed obvious from the title. But the fact that he’s going to try and avoid 2001 is interesting. What Nolan meant by that is slightly illuminated in another quote, where he talks about the differences between his work and Kubrick’s:
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.
The EW article is all kinds of awesome, so definitely head there to check that out. Nolan is all over it, including discussing his first time seeing 2001.
What do you think about Nolan’s claims that 2001 is unavoidable when making a sci-fi film? Do you think he’s short changing himself with the Kubrick comparison?