Top 125 Quotes & Sayings by Christopher Nolan

Explore popular quotes and sayings by a British director Christopher Nolan.
Christopher Nolan

Christopher Nolan is a British-American film director, producer, and screenwriter. His films have grossed more than US$5 billion worldwide, and have garnered 11 Academy Awards from 36 nominations.

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I have been interested in dreams, really since I was a kid. I have always been fascinated by the idea that your mind, when you are asleep, can create a world in a dream and you are perceiving it as though it really existed.
When you play a videogame, you could be a completely different person than you are in the real world, certain aspects of the way your brain works can be leveraged for something you could never do in the real world.
I'm very happy where 3-D is going, which is that it's becoming a choice - and thankfully, most people are still choosing 2-D. — © Christopher Nolan
I'm very happy where 3-D is going, which is that it's becoming a choice - and thankfully, most people are still choosing 2-D.
Yeah, it's odd when you look back at your own work. Some filmmakers don't look back at their work at all. I look at my work a lot, actually. I feel like I learned something while looking at stuff I've done in terms of what I'm going to do in the future, mistakes I've made and things at work or what have you.
The problem with big films is they snowball very rapidly and you can never pull back. It's a pipeline that needs to be fed.
I'm taking a bit of a wait-and-see attitude towards 3D.
Well, you always discover a lot in the editing room. Particularly the action, because you have to over-shoot a lot and shoot an enormous amount of material because many of the sequences have to be discovered in the editing and manipulation of it.
I made 'Batman' the way I made every other film, and I've done it to my own satisfaction - because the film, truly, is exactly the way I wanted it to be.
No, I've only ever done one film at a time.
For the last 10 years, I've felt increasing pressure to stop shooting film and start shooting video, but I've never understood why. It's cheaper to work on film, it's far better looking, it's the technology that's been known and understood for a hundred years, and it's extremely reliable.
The best actors instinctively feel out what the other actors need, and they just accommodate it.
I've never read Joseph Campbell, and I don't know all that much about story archetypes.
For me, Batman is the one that can most clearly be taken seriously. He's not from another planet, or filled with radioactive gunk. I mean, Superman is essentially a god, but Batman is more like Hercules: he's a human being, very flawed, and bridges the divide.
You know when Hollywood does a great big blockbuster that really wraps you up in a world, and lets you believe in extraordinary things that move you in some way, in an almost operatic sensibility? That to me is the most fun I have at the movies.
By the time I was 10 or 11, I knew I wanted to make films. — © Christopher Nolan
By the time I was 10 or 11, I knew I wanted to make films.
I think there are advantages to different scales of filmmaking. You wouldn't want to do just one thing.
As soon as television became the only secondary way in which films were watched, films had to adhere to a pretty linear system, whereby you can drift off for ten minutes and go and answer the phone and not really lose your place.
The only job that was ever of interest to me other than filmmaking is architecture.
The term 'genre' eventually becomes pejorative because you're referring to something that's so codified and ritualised that it ceases to have the power and meaning it had when it first started.
The thing with computer-generated imagery is that it's an incredibly powerful tool for making better visual effects. But I believe in an absolute difference between animation and photography.
Superheroes fill a gap in the pop culture psyche, similar to the role of Greek mythology. There isn't really anything else that does the job in modern terms. For me, Batman is the one that can most clearly be taken seriously.
I think there's a vague sense out there that movies are becoming more and more unreal. I know I've felt it.
One of the things you do as a writer and as a filmmaker is grasp for resonant symbols and imagery without necessarily fully understanding it yourself.
In Hollywood there's a great openness, almost a voracious appetite for new people. In England there's a great suspicion of the new. In cultural terms, that can be a good thing, but when you're trying to break into the film industry, it's definitely a bad thing.
Batman and Superman are very different characters but they're both iconic and elemental. Finding the right story for them both is the key.
My approach with actors is to try and give them whatever it is they need from me. Direction to me is about listening and responding and realizing how much they need to know from me and how much they have figured out for themselves, really.
If I could steal someone's dream myself, I'd have to go for one of Orson Welles.
I think there has been this increasing misperception that kids will not respond to something because it's also for adults. I think that often that tends to get underestimated.
I just love photographing things and putting them together to tell a story.
I've been interested in dreams since I as a kid and I've wanted to do a film about them for a long time.
We all wake up in the morning wanting to live our lives the way we know we should. But we usually don't, in small ways. That's what makes a character like Batman so fascinating. He plays out our conflicts on a much larger scale.
I've always been a movie guy, movies have been my thing. I love movies, all kinds of movies.
But in the back of my mind I've always looked to the biggest-scale Hollywood movies. Because to me the most satisfying experience is of watching a movie, if it's done really well. And so that aspiration is always it for me, if I have the opportunity to do it.
Revenge is a particularly interesting concept, especially the notion of whether or not it exists outside of just an abstract idea.
I have always been a huge fan of Ridley Scott and certainly when I was a kid. 'Alien', 'Blade Runner' just blew me away because they created these extraordinary worlds that were just completely immersive. I was also an enormous Stanley Kubrick fan for similar reasons.
To be honest, I don't enjoy watching movies much when I'm working. They tend to fall apart on me a bit.
When I look at a digitally acquired and projected image, it looks inferior against an original negative anamorphic print or an IMAX one.
But 'Memento' was so successful, such a huge cult hit, almost on the scale of a large film. If that had happened, with all the acclaim, before the next job, I'd have found it very difficult to figure out what to do next.
But, in each case, as a filmmaker who's been given sizable budgets with which to work, I feel a responsibility to the audience to be shooting with the absolute highest quality technology that I can and make the film in a way that I want.
I never considered myself a lucky person. I'm the most extraordinary pessimist. I truly am. — © Christopher Nolan
I never considered myself a lucky person. I'm the most extraordinary pessimist. I truly am.
But I have been interested in dreams, really since I was a kid. I have always been fascinated by the idea that your mind, when you are asleep, can create a world in a dream and you are perceiving it as though it really existed.
I don't particularly enjoy watching films in 3D because I think that a well-shot and well-projected film has a very three-dimensional quality to it, so I'm somewhat sceptical of the technology.
I sometimes think how strange it is that I've got to do exactly what I want, and that is difficult to cope with. You have to remind yourself every few weeks: I'm making this film and this is exactly what I want to do. And suddenly you're happy again.
I try not to have actors in mind when I write because the tendency then is to be influenced by either their last performance or your favourite of their performances.
I've always believed that if you want to really try and make a great film, not a good film, but a great film, you have to take a lot of risks.
Every film should have its own world, a logic and feel to it that expands beyond the exact image that the audience is seeing.
The thing you fail to grasp is that people are not basically good. We are basically selfish. We shove and clamour and cry for adoration, and beat down everyone else to get it. Life is a competition of prattling peacocks enraptured in inane mating rituals. But for all our effacing and self-importance, we are all slaves to what we fear most. You have so very much to learn. Here. Let me teach you.
Sometime, when you start thinking too much what an audience is going to think, when you're too self-conscious about it, you make mistakes.
I like films where the music and the sound design, at times, are almost indistinguishable.
Every great story deserves a great ending — © Christopher Nolan
Every great story deserves a great ending
I think audiences get too comfortable and familiar in today's movies. They believe everything they're hearing and seeing. I like to shake that up.
Films are subjective - what you like, what you don't like. But the thing for me that is absolutely unifying is the idea that every time I go to the cinema and pay my money and sit down and watch a film go up on-screen, I want to feel that the people who made that film think it's the best movie in the world, that they poured everything into it and they really love it. Whether or not I agree with what they've done, I want that effort there - I want that sincerity. And when you don't feel it, that's the only time I feel like I'm wasting my time at the movies.
A camera is a camera, a shot is a shot, how you tell the story is the main thing.
You always have to be very aware that the audience is extremely ruthless in its demand for newness, novelty and freshness.
Why do we Fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves back up.
You musn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.
I like films that continue to spin your head in all sorts of different directions after you've seen them.
I studied English Literature. I wasn’t a very good student, but one thing I did get from it, while I was making films at the same time with the college film society, was that I started thinking about the narrative freedoms that authors had enjoyed for centuries and it seemed to me that filmmakers should enjoy those freedoms as well.
You're never going to learn something as profoundly as when it's purely out of curiosity
I've been fascinated by dreams my whole life, since I was a kid, and I think the relationship between movies and dreams is something that's always interested me.
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