Multiple Oscar-nominated filmmaker Christopher Nolan, known for “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight”, says he is interested to watch and know more about Indian cinema.
On a visit to India to create awareness about celluloid films in the digital era, Nolan, at an interaction with select media here, asked if he watched any Indian films, said: “I have watched some Indian cinema, not enough thoughabut enjoyed them very much. I want to watch more of them.”
The “Insomnia” maker, who landed here on Friday after his quick trip to Delhi, interacted with many iconic personalities of Bollywood including Shah Rukh Khan and Kamal Hassan on Saturday on the subject matter of ‘Reframing The Future Of Film in India’.
“In fact that is one of the reasons why I am here in India, other than I believe in the cause (of saving celluloid film), is to meet more people from the Indian film industry and engage with the people from one of the greatest film culture of the world… to learn more
about it,” Nolan said.
Being an iconic filmmakers who made films like “Interstellar”, “Dunkirk”, “Inception” using high-end technology, supporting the celluloid film is quite a traditional thought. Asked about how he reconciles these two, Nolan said: “Film is a media to tell a story so you can use whatever technology you want it for.”
“For example in ‘Dunkirk’, we tried to tell the story in an ambitious way, in a different way. We used interesting structural techniques and approaches. Traditionalist in terms of working methodology… to me, that is a technical question and not an artistic question,” he said.
Born in 1970 in London, Nolan had a keen interest in storytelling and eventually that transformed into his aspiration to become a professional filmmaker. At the tender age of seven, he used his father’s camera to make short films. In fact, at the age of eight, Nolan, who was highly influenced by watching “Star Wars” made a stop motion animation called “Space Wars”.
It is fascinating to observe how the man with so well-versed with use of modern technology, living in a digital era of 21 century, does not use social media and cell phones which otherwise a part of every global citizen.
Asked about what made him stop using social media, Nolan said: “Well, I really don’t have to think about Facebook… I am not really interested in social media. We may live in a digital age but we are also living in an analogue world. One of the interesting things about celluloid film is also; it really has a very good relationship with the real life; that for me at least, digital doesn’t. It is about powerful storytelling too.”
“There is a problem with the word digital. The word digital semantically means what? What is digital? Digital technology is used in everything. I used a massive amount of digital technology in my films,” said the 47-year-old film director.
Asked about if he would like to make a film to address any political issue like the way Steven Spielberg did in his film “The Post”, he maintained: “Well, no I tend to be instinctive to my choices of stories that grabs me.”
“I think it is more important for me to present myself as a practical filmmaker. I think it would be very difficult for me to muster any enthusiasm,” he added.
So, what is the way to preserve the practice of celluloid filmmaking?
“It is really about encouraging new filmmakers on celluloid filmmaking, going to labs and making sure that those technicians are passing the knowledge to the future generation. In America, there are theatre chains that conduct workshops, something that Shivendra (Singh Dungarpur, founder of Film Heritage Foundation) is also doing in India.”
“I think we should start getting testimonies from people who understand this technology (celluloid filmmaking) well and getting it in a book form. But at this moment, through workshops, we can teach and get people hands on to these types of equipment,” he said.
Written by Arundhuti Banerjee for Business Standard