The demented memory flipbook that is "Memento," the noir-ish freakery of Gotham City in "The Dark Knight," the intricately woven, epically scaled "Inception" — all this can be traced back to a formative experience director Christopher Nolan had at the cinema in 1977.
Seven years old at the time, Nolan took in a screening of "Star Wars." Nothing was ever the same.
"That completely changed movies for me," he told MTV News. "It changed everything, really."
Nolan had never seen a film that was so, well, intricately woven and epically scaled as George Lucas' space odyssey. "It created a world that lived on in your mind after you saw the film and seemed to have this limitless potential," he said.
And, as Nolan explains it over three decades later, he's made a career out of trying to instill a similar sense of wonderment for ticket buyers.
"I think, for me, my whole career in making films, really every time I set out to make a film, I want to try and give somebody in the audience the experience I had watching that film, where it really felt like anything was possible in that world," he said. "That's a really extraordinary experience to have as a moviegoer."
Nolan started out small, shooting "Following" on a shoestring budget with a bunch of friends. He graduated to "Memento," gaining some financial backing and the talents of professional actors. Eventually, Warner Bros. handed him the task of resurrecting the dormant "Batman" franchise. After delivering two blockbuster takes on the Caped Crusader, the studio basically gave Nolan a pile of cash and carte blanche to make a movie he'd been dreaming about for 10 years: "Inception."
As with all his earlier films, Nolan set out to deliver an experience that would create a world that lived on in the minds of moviegoers, that seemed to have limitless potential.
"I think that's the highest aspiration of the Hollywood blockbuster," he said.
Check out everything we've got on "Inception."
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