Christopher Nolan has built a reputation as a filmmaker who gets people out to theaters, but what does the Dunkirk director see when he hits the multiplex?
When EW sat down with Nolan for a larger interview about his new film (which is out July 21) for our latest issue, we chatted about his movie-going habits, which vary drastically depending on whether he’s working or not. “When I’m not working, all the time,” he said. “I find that when I’m actually shooting, it’s impossible. I just don’t have time. When I’m editing or sound mixing, I can go to the movies, but I don’t enjoy it very much because I get very hung up on the technical aspects, whatever I happen to be dealing with in my film.”
In terms of what he goes to see, Nolan’s tastes have skewed a bit more mainstream since having kids, fulfilling an old adage of studio execs from his days as an up-and-comer. “Funnily enough, studio executives always talk about what form of entertainment are you giving people,” he said. “People have paid for a babysitter. Do they really want the guy to die at the end? That’s very true when you have kids, so your tastes do tend to go more mainstream in that period because you want some sort of guarantee of entertainment.”
One movie that definitely entertained Nolan was last year’s La La Land. “I went back to see that a couple of times,” Nolan said. “I enjoyed that tremendously. I saw that three times myself.”
When asked why he went back so many times, Nolan had to think for a moment. “I think I almost went back to see if it was as good as I had thought, and it was, if that makes sense,” he said.
And it makes sense. Damien Chazelle’s ode to movie-making and musicals values everything that Nolan holds dear in his own films — a love of dying art forms and technologies, all shot on 35mm in beautiful Technicolor.
Plus, Dom Cobb from Inception used to live in Paris.