BREAKFAST WITH ASSHOLES: 29. CHRISTOPHER NOLAN
HOLLYWOOD – Dropping in on the Studio Exec’s EXCLUSIVE breakfast nook, master manipulator and filmmaker Christopher Nolan dished the dirt on his new movie project Dunkirk as he made intricate Escher constructions of his Belgian waffles.
Christopher Nolan is famous for his carefully constructed puzzle like movies from Memento to Interstellar, his Dark Knight trilogy to the dream espionage of Inception but sitting in our favorite Denny’s 5751 Sunset Blvd I see the child I knew all those years ago who I watched one Christmas complete a 750 piece jigsaw in less than thirty seconds. He was four at the time.
So Chris, you have just announced your new project. Dunkirk. What attracts you about this story?
So then I was looking around for another subject. I was attracted by the idea of doing something totally different. I’d done thriller, Science Fiction, Film Noir and comic book so I wanted to tackle something I’d never done before. At first I was working on a musical version of Somebody Up There Likes Me with Jonathan [Nolan], but with Creed and Southpaw it occurred to me that there were too many boxing musicals around. So then we thought, I’ve never done a war film and the idea of Dunkirk came up in conversations.
The sounds great. Epic.
What I like about it is that many celebrated moments in British history are about failures. The Titanic sinks, the charge of the Light Brigade was a dumb massacre, Scott loses the race to the South Pole and dies coming back, Mallory and Irvine die on Everest. Dunkirk is essentially heroic, but it is a heroic retreat. A heroic defeat perhaps.
I see. And it sounds like a more straightforward proposition as a narrative.
You would think it would be but actually the story Jonathan and I are working on might end up being strangely ambiguous. We posit the idea that this turning point in the Second World War might actually all have been an elaborate bluff by the Germans that went wrong.
The high command of the Wehrmacht want the British to get to their boats but only so they could be destroyed. However, a crack unit of British dream commandos, led by Tom Hardy and tutored by Michael Caine, go into the sub-conscious of the German pilots and force them to think of the fleeing British as pretty flowers that are too beautiful to pick. The whole film is told backwards and there is also a great story that emerges that actually Adolf Hitler was working for the British but in the deepest imaginable cover.
That’s very controversial.
He’s not the hero we want. He’s the hero we need.
But he killed millions.
Deep, deep cover.