Second Best Christopher Nolan Interview
Ottway Ducard stashed this in Create
This scene has to be my favorite scene ever in any movie.
I watch Batman Begins again for the first 45 minutes just to watch this scene.
Christopher Nolan's works are just an incredible testament to humanity.
I think he brings out the best in every actor he works with.
And of course, Heath Ledger.
Following on that idea of how Bruce Wayne builds himself into Batman, there’s a great emphasis in the Dark Knight films, and, actually, in all of your films, on how things work, how things are constructed. Nothing is taken for granted or presented as a fait accompli. If Batman needs a batsuit, we see how he orders it, and where all of his toys come from. They have a practical explanation: they’re Wayne Industries military prototypes. We literally see him building himself in a way a lot of origin stories try to gloss over. It’s like how in The Prestige we see the ways in which the magicians accomplish their illusions.
Very much. I’m interested in process, the process of becoming. I’m fascinated by the idea of Bruce Wayne being an ordinary man without superpowers, turning himself into this larger-than-life figure who appears to have extraordinary abilities. And once you start down the road, it’s like cleaning the dirt off something. Once you’ve cleaned one spot, once you’ve peeled back the logic or reality of what it seems to be, you have to go all the way. I’ve never liked films that go part of the way there and then take an improbable leap. So in terms of where he was sourcing something from, how he would go about it, we really tried to come up with the best solution possible and present it in the film. What we found was that, very much like in The Prestige, that process becomes a really interesting part of the entertainment of the film.
The Dark Knight Rises
Something you seized on is the fragmented identity of Bruce Wayne/Batman, which is certainly a central part of the character, but it’s much more present in these films. At the end of The Dark Knight on some level he senses that maybe he’s become the villain of the story, that maybe he has too much blood on his hands, and that Batman should go away and leave Gotham alone. Those are dark areas that no Batman movie really ventured into before, and they seem related to an interest you have in the dual or sometimes more than dual nature of identity.
It’s paradoxical, but in order to get at the duality of Bruce Wayne, we had to make him into three people. I sat down with Christian early on and we decided there’s the private Bruce Wayne, who only Alfred and Rachel really get to see; the public Bruce Wayne, which is this mask he puts on of this decadent playboy; and then the creature of Batman that he’s created to strike back at the world. By making him into these three aspects, you really start to see the idea that you have a private person who is wrestling with all kinds of demons and trying to make something productive out of that. I think the most interesting moment to me that Christian pulls off in Batman Begins is the scene at the party when he pretends to be drunken Bruce Wayne being rude to his guests to get them out of the place, to save them from Ra’s Al Ghul’s men. But there’s some truth to it which comes through, and you can see that in his performance. It’s an act, but Bruce Wayne as an actor is drawing on something that he really feels. It’s quite bitter, and I like the layers that Christian was able to put in there.
So convincingly, that that scene is my least favorite in any movie ever. I can almost feel the pain of the wayne legacy.
But knowing that in The Dark Knight Rises all gets made well again, it's not so bad right?
It does, now. I honestly skip this scene. The drunken debauchery scene. It's too shameful, too painful. I love the scene with him and Ra'as though. I think Batman Begins is under appreciated, but only because "The Dark Knight" is so well-liked. A great problem to have.
I need to go back and see Batman Begins again.
My memory is that it dragged in places, but the training scenes were very cool.
Yup; I usually stop after the first 45-60 minutes. I think Scarecrow was a weak villain; I think Batman Begins foreshadowed the response to Dark Knight Rises.
People don't' like emotionally investing in fearing/disliking a character to find out that character was a pawn.
I suspect this is why people liked TDK more than TDKR or BB.
1. Why was this your second favorite interview?
2. What was your favorite interview?
Second favorite because I can't think of any I like more than this one, other than his interview with his brother Jonah:
Thanks, I liked the Jonah interview, too.
Is there something about Christopher Nolan that comes out in this interview that really speaks to you?
That he talks about his movies in connection. Partly, perhaps, because of the phrasing of the question. Also partly, perhaps, because of the way he thinks about his movies.
Bit by bit, I'm starting to understand how he thinks about movies.
This part, in particular, is powerful: "I’m interested in process, the process of becoming. I’m fascinated by the idea of Bruce Wayne being an ordinary man without superpowers, turning himself into this larger-than-life figure who appears to have extraordinary abilities. And once you start down the road, it’s like cleaning the dirt off something. Once you’ve cleaned one spot, once you’ve peeled back the logic or reality of what it seems to be, you have to go all the way. " (http://pandawhale.com/convo/10117/second-best-christopher-nolan-interview?comment=34807)
He's interested in the process of becoming. And now that I think of it, that's why I love Batman Begins, and the Prestige, and Inception -- all of his stories are taking you somewhere, but it's also showing you how it's done.
Also, every time I read about him, I learn a little bit more about storytelling. I think he's one of the greatest storytellers of our generation. Some people use the written word, others the spoken, yet others their own bodies as a higher form of language if you will. He uses cinema, and I think it transcends the format.
It does seem like no one else can do what he can do.