'Inception' 'Builds' On 'Dark Knight,' Christopher Nolan Says

'I want to try and do something that builds on what I've learned,' director tells MTV News of his cinematic evolution.

Christopher Nolan is building a cinematic masterpiece, one movie at a time. Each film on his ever-growing, ever more synapse-frying résumé grows organically and creatively from what preceded it.

If that is true, we have no idea where Nolan can possibly go after [movie id="419756"]"Inception,"[/movie] because this thriller — set in a world where people can share and exploit one another's dreams — is simply the most cornea-melting, ear-shattering brain-buster that's hit the multiplex this year. The sheer scale of "Inception," from its globe-spanning locations to its multilayered story line to the way in which separate worlds unfold simultaneously and yet it all manages to make sense in the end — it's nothing short of staggering.

Yet to the self-effacing Nolan, it's all just a progression, and he describes himself as lucky just to be able to bring these complex yarns to the big screen. "I've been very fortunate in my career in many ways, but very much in the way in which I've been able to build one film to the next," he told MTV News. "I started with the smallest-possible-scale film, 'Following,' which I made with friends on weekends — just us doing to it. To 'Memento,' which had a real budget and a real cast. I gradually built on that."

Five years after 2000's "Memento," a flick that tells its story in reverse, Nolan found his way to "Batman Begins" and eventually "The Dark Knight" — two enormous, and enormously profitable, studio productions. The connective tissue between all these films has been Nolan's desire never to repeat himself.

"What I've tried to do with every new film is to challenge myself," he said. "I don't want to do the same thing again. I don't want to do something I already know I can do. I want to try and do something that builds on what I've learned, that takes it someplace new."

The "someplace new" he's found on "Inception" is a place where, after repeated viewings, one of Nolan's grand-scale movies continues to feel grand when he takes it in. "It's probably the first one that's at this stage of it that hasn't shrunk," he explained. "Normally you get to a point where you've worked on it for so long, you've seen it so many times — sound mixing and putting visual effects in, editing over and over again — there's a point where it becomes something less than you thought it was. It becomes smaller — just geographically or physically.

"I think 'Inception' resists that," he continued. "Partly it's because the world of the human mind, the idea that you can kind of go anywhere in this story, means that its limitations are hard to get a hold of. It kind of lives outside the movie in a way. I think that's fun. I think that's what Hollywood blockbusters should be trying to do."

Check out everything we've got on "Inception."

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