Christopher Nolan quotes

  • 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.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Mistake #Thinking #Self

  • I like films where the music and the sound design, at times, are almost indistinguishable.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Design #Sound #Film

  • 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.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Taken #Mean #Bridges

  • I try to be as efficient as possible because in my process, I think that actually helps the work. I like having the pressure of time and money and really trying to stick to the parameters we've been given.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Thinking #Trying #Pressure

  • 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.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Jobs #Taken #Superhero

  • 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.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Dream #Kids #Thinking

  • The best actors instinctively feel out what the other actors need, and they just accommodate it.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Movie #Inspiring #Needs

  • Movie logistics never really allow you to do anything but shoot the way the budget dictates.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Logistics #Way

  • 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.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Understanding #Imagery #Filmmaker

  • I want to be surprised and entertained by a movie, so that's what we're trying to do for the audience. Obviously, we also have to sell the film.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Trying #Want #Film

  • People want to see something that shows them you can do what you say. That's the trick.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #People #Want #Tricks

  • My most enjoyable movie going experiences have always been going to a movie theater, sitting there and the lights go down and a film comes on the screen that you don't know everything about, and you don't know every plot turn and every character movement that's going to happen.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Character #Light #Plot

  • I always find myself gravitating to the analogy of a maze. Think of film noir and if you picture the story as a maze, you don't want to be hanging above the maze watching the characters make the wrong choices because it's frustrating. You actually want to be in the maze with them, making the turns at their side, that keeps it more exciting...I quite like to be in that maze.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Character #Thinking #Choices

  • It's certainly difficult to balance marketing a film and putting it out there to everybody with wanting to keep it fresh for the audience.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Marketing #Balance #Film

  • I never considered myself a lucky person. I'm the most extraordinary pessimist. I truly am.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Lucky #Pessimist #Persons

  • I'm not a big dreamer. I never have been.The only thing I've sort of obviously extracted from the research of dreams is that I don't think there's a specific science you can put on dream psychology. I think that it's up to, obviously, the individual. Obviously, we suppress things, emotions, things during the day - thoughts that we obviously haven't thought through enough, and in that state of sleep when our subconscious or mind just sort of randomly fires off different surreal story structures, and when we wake up we should pay attention to these things.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Dream #Sleep #Thinking

  • 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.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Done #Way #Satisfaction

  • I realized that if you're trying to reach an audience, being as subjective as possible and really trying to write from something genuine is the way to go. Really it's mostly from my own process, my own experience.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Writing #Trying #Way

  • 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.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Firsts #Genre #Term

  • I don't actually tend to do a lot of research when I'm writing. I do know because I think a lot of what I find you want to do with research is just confirming things you want to do. If the research contradicts what you want to do, you tend to go ahead and do it anyway.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Writing #Thinking #Research

  • I believe movies are one of the great American art forms and the shared experience of watching a story unfold on screen is an important and joyful pastime. The movie theatre is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Art #Believe #Home

  • The atmosphere and the environment that you get on a Chris Nolan film that he and Emma [Tomson] create is one where you feel very safe and very confident and able to experiment with characters. It's a great place to be as an actor.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Character #Atmosphere #Actors

  • A camera is a camera, a shot is a shot, how you tell the story is the main thing.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Cameras #Stories #Shots

  • I'm a very fortunate person. I get to choose the movies that I want to do. I have a lot of friends in this industry that don't get to do that. I grew up in L.A. A lot of my friends are actors so I realize every day how lucky I am to have this opportunity, so while I'm here, I'm going to try to do exactly what I want.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Opportunity #Trying #Lots Of Friends

  • 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.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Believe #Thinking #Today

  • Every film should have its own world, a logic and feel to it that expands beyond the exact image that the audience is seeing.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #World #Logic #Film

  • There's very few directors I think in this industry that would pitch to a studio that they wanted to do a multi-layered almost at times existential high action, high drama surreal film that's sort of locked in his mind. And then have an opportunity to do that.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Drama #Opportunity #Thinking

  • Revenge is a particularly interesting concept, especially the notion of whether or not it exists outside of just an abstract idea.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Revenge #Ideas #Interesting

  • Chris [ Nolan] and I have a strange way of working from the non-movie process, where after all these conversations and reading the script and more conversations, Chris went out and shot the films and the first thing he did, he wouldn't show it to me until I had written the music - not out of meanness, or anything, it just sort of seemed an interesting idea to see if there was some synchronicity and letting me use my imagination to the fullest instead of being constricted by cuts and images.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Reading #Cutting #Ideas

  • 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.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Phones #Answers #Television

  • As far as the dreams go, really I would only point to there are times in my life where I experienced lucid dreaming, which is a big feature of Inception movie - the idea of realizing you're in a dream and therefore trying to change or manipulate it in some way. That's a very striking experience for people who have it.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Dream #Ideas #People

  • 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.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Dream #Kids #Ideas

  • I think for me when you look at the idea of being able to create a limitless world and use it almost as a playground for action and adventure and so forth, I naturally gravitate towards cinematic worlds, whether it's the Bond films and things like that.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Adventure #Thinking #Ideas

  • 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.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Morning #Character #Play

  • It's not that often that you get to have a large commercial success and then have something that you want to do that you can excite people about.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #People #Want

  • 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.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Mistake #Stuff #Looks

  • I think for me, what I'm doing on set is I'm watching things happen as an audience member and trying to just look at, what's the image we're photographing, how will that advance the story and what will the next image be.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Thinking #Trying #Looks

  • I think there's a vague sense out there that movies are becoming more and more unreal. I know I've felt it.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Thinking #Becoming #Unreal

  • 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

    #People #Choices #Becoming

  • I've never read Joseph Campbell, and I don't know all that much about story archetypes.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Stories #Archetype

  • I think there are advantages to different scales of filmmaking. You wouldn't want to do just one thing.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Thinking #Different #Want

  • You musn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Dream #Littles #Bigger

  • I have to believe that when my eyes are closed, the world's still there. (Leonard Shelby, Memento)
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Believe #Eye #World

  • Memory can change the shape of a room; it can change the color of a car. And memories can be distorted. They're just an interpretation, they're not a record, and they're irrelevant if you have the facts. (Leonard Shelby, Memento)
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Memories #Color #Car

  • Batman and Superman are very different characters but they're both iconic and elemental. Finding the right story for them both is the key.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Character #Keys #Different

  • 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.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #People #Trying #England

  • 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.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Real #Play #Brain

  • 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.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Editing #Rooms #Manipulation

  • 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.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Giving #Listening #Trying

  • 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.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Selfish #People #Competition

  • There are points where you worry that you might be putting too much in and alienating the audience. But, funnily enough, some of those fears aren't correct.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Worry #Might #Too Much

  • You're never going to learn something as profoundly as when it's purely out of curiosity
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Curiosity

  • To be honest, I don't enjoy watching movies much when I'm working. They tend to fall apart on me a bit.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Fall #Honest #Enjoy

  • When I look at a digitally acquired and projected image, it looks inferior against an original negative anamorphic print or an IMAX one.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Negative #Looks #Print

  • I never meet anybody who actually likes the format, and it’s always a source of great concern to me when you’re charging a higher price for something that nobody seems to really say they have any great love for.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Great Love #Likes #Source

  • The film's title star, Christian Bale, told me in June that he'd signed a multi-picture contract. When I caught up with Batman Begins ... All I can tell you is, we're talking. There was quite an air of secrecy around the development of 'Batman Begins,' and there will be even more around the development of another film, if they move forward.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Christian #Stars #Moving

  • It's always a fun collaboration with my brother. I'm very fortunate to be able to work with him. There's an honesty to collaboration. There's a lack of a gender or ego in our conversations. And so you can really throw anything around.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Brother #Honesty #Fun

  • I've done really well so far in my career by trusting the audience to be as dissatisfied with convention as I am, as a film-goer. You want to go see a film that surprises you in some way.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Careers #Done #Want

  • Every great story deserves a great ending
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Stories #Deserve

  • We shouldn't be chasing other movies, but stay true to the tone of Man of Steel.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Men #Steel #Tone

  • The quality of racing continues to excel with starters increasing to 1496,.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Racing #Excellence #Quality

  • 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.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Thinking #Ideas #People

  • 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.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Needs #Pipeline #Problem

  • A hero can be anyone, even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat on a young boy's shoulders to let him know the world hadn't ended.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Hero #Simple #Men

  • I just love photographing things and putting them together to tell a story.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Together #Stories

  • I've always been a movie guy, movies have been my thing. I love movies, all kinds of movies.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Movie Love #Guy #Kind

  • 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.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Dream #Kids #Long

  • If you're going to perform inception, you need imagination. You need the simplest version of the idea-the one that will grow naturally in the subject's mind. Subtle art.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Art #Ideas #Imagination

  • I like films that continue to spin your head in all sorts of different directions after you've seen them.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Different #Film #Audience

  • Don't talk like one of them. You're not! Even if you'd like to be. To them, you're just a freak, like me! They need you right now, but when they don't, they'll cast you out, like a leper! You see, their morals, their code, it's a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you. When the chips are down, these... these civilized people, they'll eat each other. See, I'm not a monster. I'm just ahead of the curve. -The Joker
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Dark #Curves #People

  • Why do we Fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves back up.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Fall

  • I always thought the joy of reading a book is not knowing what happens next. (Leonard Shelby, Memento)
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Book #Reading #Knowing

  • 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.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Kids #Blade Runner #Fans

  • 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.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Responsibility #Technology #Quality

  • The only job that was ever of interest to me other than filmmaking is architecture.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Jobs #Architecture #Filmmaking

  • I'm taking a bit of a wait-and-see attitude towards 3D.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Attitude #Waiting

  • 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.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Technology #Thinking #Quality

  • 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.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #College #Thinking #Literature

  • 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.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Risk #Trying #Want

  • I will miss the Batman. I like to think that he'll miss me, but he's never been particularly sentimental.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Thinking #Missing #Sentimental

  • George Lazenby is no one's favorite James Bond, but for me the anonymity at the center of this lavish production only serves to reveal the Bond machine firing on all cylinders: superb editing and photography, incredible score, great setpieces. The most romantic in the series, and it actually has, of all things, a tragic ending.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Photography #Editing #Most Romantic

  • Yes, to me that's one of the most compelling fears in film noir and the psychological thriller genre - that fear of conspiracy. It's definitely something that I have a fear of - not being in control of your own life. I think that's something people can relate to, and those genres are most successful when they derive the material from genuine fears that people have.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Successful #Thinking #People

  • Film is the best way to capture an image and project that image. It just is, hands down.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Hands #Way #Film

  • I have always been a big fan of the character and am more of a moviegoer than a comic book guy, there is always something about the character of Batman that is very elemental. There is a great powerful myth to the character and romantic element that draws from a lot of literary sources
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Powerful #Book #Character

  • By the time I was 10 or 11, I knew I wanted to make films.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Film #Wanted

  • I remember the initial genesis quite clearly. My interest in dreams comes from this notion of realizing that when you dream you create the world that you are perceiving, and I thought that feedback loop was pretty amazing.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Dream #World #Remember

  • If I could steal someone's dream myself, I'd have to go for one of Orson Welles.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Dream #Stealing

  • Every Great Story deserves a Great Ending and 'The Dark Knight Rises' is our Attempt to give that GREAT story, a GREAT ENDING.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Dark #Knights #Giving

  • I would never say someone else’s film isn’t ‘a real film.’ The quote is inaccurate.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Real #Film

  • What drew me to Batman in the first place was Bruce Wayne's story, and that he's a real character whose story begins in childhood. He's not a fully formed character like James Bond, so what we're doing is following the journey of this guy from a child who goes through this horrible experience of becoming this extraordinary character. That, for me, became a three-part story. And obviously the third part becomes the ending of the guy's story.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Children #Real #Character

  • What I react against in other people's work, as a filmgoer, is when I see something in a movie that I feel is supposed to make me feel emotional, but I don't believe the filmmaker shares that emotion. They just think the audience will.  And I think you can feel that separation. So any time I find myself writing something that I don't really respond to, but I'm telling myself, 'Oh yes, but the audience is going to like this,' then I know I'm on the wrong track and I just throw it out.
    -- Christopher Nolan

    #Believe #Writing #Emotional