Today is Christopher Nolan’s birthday and we’ll never grow old of our appreciation for the incredible cinematic experiences he creates through his screenwriting, production, and direction.
The best way to celebrate his birthday is to celebrate his work. There are countless reasons to value the sheer existence of Christopher Nolan, and we looked back on his impressive filmmaking history to highlight a few.
1. In 2008, The Dark Knight, directed by Nolan, became the first major Hollywood film to feature scenes shot with IMAX® cameras. The Batman Begins sequel introduced Heath Ledger as The Joker, one of the most iconic performances in Batman history. In a tribute to Ledger after his death, Nolan noted that on set, Ledger was fascinated with all the intricacies of filmmaking beyond his acting. The two had a mutual respect and trust that shined on screen.
In 2012, Nolan one-upped himself by filming nearly half of The Dark Knight Rises with IMAX cameras - 72 of the 165 minutes of the film lead to a stunning visual masterpiece revered as arguably the best of the trilogy. The Dark Knight Rises’ fifth birthday was just over a week ago, too. So much celebration is in order!
2. Memento is a classic name drop in every Psychology 101 class on the topic of anterograde amnesia. The film has a complicated timeline as it begins where it ends and vice versa. It’s as complex as it is phenomenal, and by drawing out the film’s structure, Nolan proves he truly is a creative visionary.
3. Just when you thought Nolan couldn’t make a film more meta than Memento, Inception was another mind-boggling masterpiece. Nolan’s ability to construct a functional world of shared dreams and levels of consciousness was incredible. He didn’t stop the meta at Inception either. Interstellar left everyone who watched wanting to explore a black hole to see their lives in more than just three dimensions. The grandiose plots of Inception and Interstellar were amplified in the grandiosity of the IMAX presentations of the films – like in the following from Interstellar.
4. In an interview with the Director’s Guild of America, Nolan revealed his practices on set that tailor to the needs of each individual actor with whom he works. He trusts the instinct of an actor needing just one more take and he allows them to explore different angles to scenes, sometimes ignoring the interest of time.
“What I try to do is give them whatever process they need. It may not be what they think they need, and indeed it may be counter to that, but I really try to be different [and adapt] for every actor, I try to make them comfortable, I try to get the best out of them.”
He also knows that the audience deserves the best possible quality in a movie, which is why he believes in the preservation of capturing on film, commonly done with the use of our IMAX film camera.
5. Dunkirk is Nolan’s latest (and some are saying greatest) film to date. Released last week, Dunkirk is, per Nolan, his most experimental film since Memento. He used our gigantic IMAX cameras in compact spaces, making the WWII thriller as enormous as it is intimate. You can still catch it in theatres, and glimpse behind-the-scenes in our video below.
BONUS: Needless to say, we’re big Nolan fans at IMAX. We received the thrill of a lifetime when he surprised us at our Los Angeles Headquarters to dedicate our David Keighley Theatre, named for our Chief Quality Offer and long-time Nolan collaborator.
While there are more films to praise and plenty more words to say about Christopher Nolan’s masterful direction in every project he takes on, it would be near impossible to create a conclusive list. Nolan is an expert of his craft and we wish him a very happy birthday!
- Samantha Ulin | Intern, Corporate Communications