Nolan’s Recommendations

Scott Tobias:

No, not really. There are a few models, particularly literary. The one example I like to use is a book by Graham Swift called Waterland, which is a fantastic book I read when I was a kid. Swift constructs the story in a nonlinear fashion that’s entirely clear and consistent and interesting, so I’ve certainly grown up feeling that there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to present the cinematic narrative in whatever form is most interesting. But I try not to have conscious cinematic references in mind when I’m figuring out what to do or how to do it, simply because I think it’s restricting. Not because you’re copying—probably more likely because you’d be afraid to copy, that you wouldn’t do stuff—and, to me, any kind of filmmaking that’s reactive is not going to be as good as something more inventive and original.


Studios used to be much better at making these kinds of movies. Take Strangers On A Train, for example, in which the guy at the center of it is sympathetic and a good man, and you’ve invested a lot in him, but he’s compromised and therefore trapped, and you’re kind of trapped with him.