NY Times' Chris Nolan Profile - Man Behind the Dreamscape
"As soon as you’re talking about dreams, the potential of the human mind is infinite." Since us online folk don't get to talk with Christopher Nolan (he refuses to speak to any online press at all), we have to rely on our newspaper brethren to deliver great interviews. Well, NY Times writer Dave Itzkoff has done just that - delivered a series of articles about Chris Nolan and Inception that are just fantastic. And as always, I love highlighting some of the best cinematic content, so I suggest you check out his Nolan Q&A as well as his full profile called The Man Behind the Dreamscape (thanks to Nolan Fans for first finding this). Read on!
The countdown is on and we're now only 14 days away from finally seeing Inception. Hopefully by now you know a little bit of what it's about, but if not, Nolan does his best to explain (without giving away any major spoilers): "It's really, at its core, a big action heist movie, and it's a movie that doesn't try to bamboozle the audience continuously… What Inception deals with is a science fiction concept in which really only one simple thing has changed, which is that you and I are able to experience the same dream at the same time. Once you remove the privacy, you've created an infinite number of alternate universes in which people can meaningfully interact – with validity, with weight, with dramatic consequences." And with skilled con men.
Secrecy has been important in both the marketing and production of Inception and that's what Nolan likes. "What I've realized over the years is, I want to know the movie, then as soon as I know it, I wished I didn't… It's like you want to open your presents before Christmas, and then if you do, you regret it. We try to hide the presents up in the top of the closet where people can’t get at it." I completely agree with him and often try to make sure I'm surprised like that. Having seen Inception, I strongly encourage everyone to minimize the amount of footage they watch for it, as it will make your experience watching it much better in the end.
Itzkoff covers a lot of fascinating topics, like the scale and size of Nolan's movies, as they're always massive and Warner Bros doesn't mind giving him the budget he wants. "I had tried to write [Inception] smaller, on the assumption I might not be able to secure the budget I needed. What I found is, it's not possible to execute this concept in a small fashion. The reason is, as soon as you’re talking about dreams, the potential of the human mind is infinite. And so the scale of the film has to feel infinite. It has to feel like you could go absolutely anywhere by the end of the film. And it has to work on a massive scale." And it certainly does - they shot around the world in places like Tokyo, England, Paris, Morocco, Los Angeles and Alberta, Canada.
If all this complex conceptual Inception talk is making you worried about being able to understand the plot in the movie, don't worry, as it's not that confusing. "Like the traditional heist movie, it really tries to draw the audience into the logic of the world and lets the audience in on the joke, if you like," Nolan says. He even makes an accurate (I can confirm) comparison to The Matrix: "That's a massively complex philosophical concept in some sense. But in another sense, it's really simple." You'll see what he means on July 16th. I'm sure we'll have lots more Inception content in the next few weeks, but for now head to NY Times for more.