Christopher Nolan: 'Interstellar' Harkens Back to '2001: A Space Odyssey'

"You’re not just experiencing [the film] through the characters, you are lost in it"

In case the amazing visuals in the trailers for Interstellar didn’t give it away, Christopher Nolan’s upcoming movie is intended to be a 2001: A Space Odyssey for the 21st Century, only without the nursery rhyme-singing artificial intelligence.

The Dark Knight director told Entertainment Weekly that Interstellar is “the first film I have made where the actual experience of the film is paramount to the audience.” That differs from his Batman movies, he explained, because “they’re more dependent on the reaction of characters on screen. Interstellar is different. It harkens back to the direct experience films of 2001, where you’re not just experiencing it through the characters, you are lost in it."

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Part of that comes from the astounding look of the movie, but to Nolan, it’s the movie’s subject that’s central to the experience. "The film is about human nature, what it means to be human,” he said. “It sounds like a very grand statement, but I don’t intend it to be… When you take an audience [as] far away from human experience as possible, you wind up focusing very tightly on human nature and how we are connected to each other. What the film tries to do is to be very honest in that appraisal."

Whether Nolan succeeds in his ambition won’t be known until the movie is released Nov. 7, but at least Anne Hathaway — who plays Amelia Brand in the movie alongside Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain and Michael Caine — is convinced. “Isn’t it nice to have a movie that is about all things [this] movie is about and not feel druggy?” she joked. So, it’s not entirely like 2001, then…

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