What is Christopher Nolan’s best film? The answer to this question will differ according to who you ask. Some will say Interstellar, others will say the Dark Knight trilogy, while many more will name films like Tenet and Inception. However, only the few who have followed the career of the filmmaker will be able to name one of his first films.
That movie was made on a budget of only $5 million but it went on to gross $40 million at the box office. But more than that it became one of the finest classics in terms of storytelling. But what’s more astonishing is the fact it was shot by Nolan in less than a month!
Did Christopher Nolan Shoot One Of His Initial Films In Just 25 Days?
Nowadays, Christopher Nolan takes his sweet time to shoot his films, and why not? After all, they have become increasingly complicated technically as well as in terms of storytelling over the years. But he shot one of his first films, Memento, in less than a month, or 25 days to be exact. The acclaimed director said:
“We shot the whole film in 25 days, which is a crazy schedule for a film.”
Nolan also explained how he made such a sophisticated film in such a short amount of time. He revealed that once they did 57 setups in a day. The director said:
“That energy really cranking, really moving. And the actors aren’t given time to leave the set and go back to the trailer. There is definitely an energy that translates itself onto the screen. It’s very hard to define, but it’s absolutely there. It’s also just in the mechanical way that you’re getting enough set-ups when you’re moving that fast. We did 57 set-ups in one day.”
That’s not all. The Batman Begins director also explained how he was able to create a layered story and then shoot it in such a small amount of time.
How Christopher Nolan Gave Audiences A Sophisticated Story In Memento
Christopher Nolan revealed that he worked on Memento for three years and ensured that it was a layered story. The director said:
“I’ve got three years to work on this thing and as a viewer you’ve got like two hours to watch it, so it ought to be functioning at some level of greater sophistication than you can absorb in one viewing. I had that opportunity to cheat in that way and make it more complex or more layered or whatever because I had that luxury of time.”
The Interstellar director further revealed that he wove a complex story so that audiences could watch it again and again and they would be rewarded with new realizations each time. He said:
“I’m interested in making films to watch them a second time, and hopefully you’ll be interested to watch a second time. You don’t see how it’s stuck together; it actually can sustain that scrutiny and become something a little bit different when you see it again.”
Memento is certainly a special film because it really rewards viewers with each watch. But then again, films like Inception, Tenet, and more do as well. Basically, Nolan knows how to craft an intricately designed story that’s without par.
Memento is available on HBO Max.