Christopher Nolan’s Favorite Sequence From His Movies Is The Airplane Kidnapping Scene From ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

Christopher Nolan's Favorite Sequence From His Movies Is The Airplane Kidnapping Scene From 'The Dark Knight Rises'

While the mechanics of Christopher Nolan‘s films can be divisive, there’s no denying that he’s is one of the best at enacting spectacle on the big screen —his achievements as such include the docking sequence in his most recent "Interstellar" to the sleight-of-hand in "The Prestige" to the tilted hallway fight of the mind-bending "Inception." During a talk last night at the Tribeca Film Festival hosted by Bennett Miller, Nolan was asked to choose which of his blockbuster sequences was his favorite. And he selected the pretty terrific opening airplane kidnapping scene from "The Dark Knight Rises."

“It took us about two days in Scotland," he explained about the sequence, which you can watch below. "And it was an incredible sort of coming together of months and months of planning by a lot of different members of the team who worked for months rehearsing these parachute jumps and wind walking, all these different things… The visual effects work in the sequence is very minimal… I was really amazed by what the team we had put together had achieved using very sort of old-fashioned methods, in a way. I was very proud of the way that came together.”

If there’s something clinical in Nolan’s answer, it shouldn’t be surprising given how he describes his screenwriting process. “I don’t write a story outline. I work intuitively, but I draw a lot of diagrams when I work," he said. "I do a lot of thinking about etchings by Escher, for instance. That frees me, finding a mathematical model or a scientific model. I’ll draw pictures and diagrams that illustrate the movement or the rhythm that I’m after.”

And that spirit carries over into the editing process: “I’ve always edited in a huge hurry," he said, "trying to catch that lightning in a bottle, just so the energy is there. I always think of editing as instinctive or impressionist. Not to think too much, in a way, and feel it more.” 

Yet Nolan is still operating in a very mainstream business, one that requires success of the four quadrant variety —which Nolan attributes to an "enormous amount of luck"— to be afforded the kind of creative latitude he enjoys. It’s a process that requires dealing with studios too, but Nolan has figured out how to deal with execuitves from one of his earliest supporters. “I learned how to accept notes from the studio while still pursuing your own vision from Steven Soderbergh, my mentor. You have to get out there and find a place for yourself. You have to make your own rules. You have to figure out what’s going to work for you… He taught me that you’re on your own and you have to get out there and make it work.”

Indeed, Nolan has been making it work quite well, but game recognizes game, and the director tipped his hat to one 2014 movie in particular. “I really loved ‘Whiplash‘ last year. I thought that was an incredible piece of work. That was the kind of film where when you see it, it’s very precisely put together and you’re very jealous,” he said.

Of course, the Q&A at Tribeca included the inevitable question about the ending of "Inception," but Miller fielded that one. “I asked him that same question backstage, and he said the answer is not for public consumption,” he said. But Nolan shared the advice his brother Jonathan gave him about keeping the ending secret: “Nobody will be able to look past what you’ve said.” [via Long Live Cinema/Tribeca].

Note: audio is silent for the first 15 seconds or so, then kicks in.

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Comments

Christopher Nolan

In this moment, I am euphoric. Not because of some big guy’s blessing, but because I am enlightened by my own masterpiece.

Mosquito Man

Calm down, Nolan. Now is not the time for praise. That comes later.

Lolli

Eh. It was okay but not amazing.

Amaan

FOR YOU

The Masketta Man

He was trying to grab your prize. -The Masketta Man

BG4U

If I took off this scene, would he die?

CIA's fan

It was CIA’s birthday yesterday! A bit late, but happy birthday, big guy!

Bravo Nolan

Nolan’s a big director for me, and I don’t care if people think I’m just a hired gun shilling for this movie.

Mosquito Man

UUUU

Sir?

BRAVO
R
A
V
O

Dr. Pavel

Lot of loyalty for a hired scene!

Mosquito Man

HUGE OTOKO

Did he ever think of the consequences of crashing a plane…with NO SURVIVORS?!

Tom Hardy

BRAVO NOLAN
R
A
V
O

N
O
L
A
N

BROLAN

NAVO

Maimen

Calm down Kevin! Now is not the time for lauding; that comes later.

Siaiei

Uh, you don’t get to bring friends.

Deshi Basara

Let’s not stand on ceremony Mr. Nolan

RAUL

Agree

rimjobrebecca

hey everybody join our secret club at play()pokemonshowdown()com/showderp

clefair

can somebody tell me what an md1ck is

Ittin

Was liking this scene part of your plan?

Masketta Man

Bane?

CIA

You’re a big guy.

B. I. Guyefoeru

Nolan does it again!

Mosquito Man

You will

I'm CIA

If I post in here, will you die?

Smee

…..Sir?

Bane

For you

HIRED GUN

Flying status = not so good

Masketo man

Who is CIA really?

Your Mom

littlefinger got owned

Stupid Hot Head

I think I must be the only one that doesn’t like this scene.

Johnny Everhard

Why would somebody shoot a scene, before throwing it out on a blog?

SIR?!

Was breaking reality part of your plan?

Masketta Man

He wasn’t alone

He works for the mercenary

Was writing click bait part of your plan?

Masketta Man

4 u

B. Guy

I’m sure a lot of Nolan fan boys will be a little hot headed after this revelation that this scene is his favorite. I say get those hot heads outta here.

Louis CK

GET OUTTA TOWN!

Allahu Ackbar

Lot of loyalty for a hired director.

NOLAN?

They’re expecting one of us in the wreckage, brother!

Bu Townly Juan Ahhvyu

B R A V O N O L A N
R
A
V
O
N
O
L
A
N

Rezzo

Still irks me that they altered Bane’s original voice. He sounded much more calm and intimidating in the IMAX Prologue compared to the loud and somewhat campy voice in the final version.

skywater

Brilliant sequence. Very well realised. But man, i can’t get enough of the docking scene in Interstellar. just wow!

Very cool that Steven Soderbergh is his mentor. It’s great how he took that advice, and has made it work so well for him.

Masketta Man

LOTTA LOYALTY FOR A HIRED REPORTER

You dont get to bring friends

I’m a big rising fire.

BigGuy4U

The one time I saw Chris Nolan was, I shit you not, in the basement at a USC frat party, completely gone on Ecstasy, and being railed by Dan "the fat guy from better off dead" Schneider

Big Guy

It would be extremely painful….

BigGuyBane

4u

CIA

If I take off that mask, will you die?

HE

HE

I'm a Big Guy

UUUU

CIA

Hired Gun

I have a lotta loyalty for a big guy. BRAVO NOLAN.

Ayejus

This can’t be happening! I’m in charge here!

AHAIR DEGUN

    

Damascusman

THIS ARTICLE WAS BRED FOR ONE PURPOSE….FOR MEMES

DWP GUY

IF I WATCH YOUR MOVIES, WILL YOU DIE?

Louis

Am I the only one who thinks this movie would have improved if Bane was black?

Bin Afflequi

Tell me, do you bleed?
For you.

Anne H

Chris Nolan is a fascinating director, during the filming of Interstellar we all wondered why my character was supposed to take a fat ogre shit in her spacesuit, but he kept saying it was part of the vision.

Brendan Fraser

JUST

Mosquito Man

Zzzzzzon’t worryzzzzzzz, no zzzzzchargezzzzz for zzzzzzzem.

Bikay

For you maybe

Masketta Man

for you

CIA

This can’t be happening

Armond White

"I don’t write a story outline. I work intuitively, but I draw a lot of diagrams when I work,"

OHH IT SHOWS NOLAN, IT SHOWS

le dropkick orc

LOOKS LIKE MEME BACK ON THE MENU BOYS

Smee Maimen

A LOTTA LOYALTY FOR A HIRED GUN!

Masketta Man

Lotta loyalty for a hired writer

Big Guy

For you

Ceeie Aye.

The File I list with indiewire lists me, my men, Mr. Nolanhere and only ONE Interview!

Aiden Gillen 93

Bane??

MOSQUITO MAN

THEY WORK FOR THE MERCENARY. THE MASKETTA MAN???

CIA

You’re a big guy

CIA

He doesn’t fly so good.

Brother

Did we start the fire?

CIA

This is a great article, mind if I call it in to the agency?

Mumen

Nobody cared who he was until he directed TDKR.

Bane

No one cared who I was till I put on the mask.

memme memmer

uuuu

SIZZLING SKULL

There he is. There he goes again. Look, everyone! He posted it once again! Isn’t he just the funniest guy around?! Oh my God.

Sheev

Christopher Nolan is a true auteur. A master of his craft. And he was a good friend.

Tymtugo Moe Bile.

Nolan is quite the big guy.

ANON

This scene is a big guy for me, and taking over my brain must have been a part of it’s plan. Of course, Bravo Nolan you’re a real human being and a true detective. I don’t know what to do anymore. I wake up in the middle of the night and immediately yell FOR YOU! I just can’t help it.Even if it’s just the faintest sound of the plane. Oh my God. Please save me. Somebody. I can’t take it. My life is crashing with no survivors.

Big Guy

It was extremely painful

LOUIS CUCK KING

BIG WHITE GUYS

I'M CIA

NOOOO THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING! I’M IN CHARGE HERE!

DR PAVEEL

NOTHING! I SAID NOTHING!

Smee

What did Dr. Pavel tell them anyway?

U U U U

Bravo, Nolan

Derek

>execuitves

Max

I hate Nolan’s editing. It’s awesome the first time, but there’s no re-watchability with his films. It’s terrible compared to something like George Miller’s editing

DR. Biggie Cia

TELL ME ABOUT NOLAN, WHY DOES HE LIKE THIS SCENE?

Mosquito Man

By you, For you

Bill Wilson

What’s the next step in Nolan’s career?

Ahai Erdghun

This is my favourite scene from Nolan’s masterpiece as well. No surprise there, as my loyalty is unparalleled.

NOJUAN CARD

So,was this a big moment in your career
For you?

CAPTAIN CIA

Look at me. Look at me. I’m the big guy now.

Anthonyfantano

Ur a big guy

Bill Wlison

Did he get to bring friends ?

I'm CIA

At least you can blog. Who are you?

Steve

I think Nolan does share our view and enthusiasm for this film.

Liz Mee-Maimen

TARS, set memeposting to 90%

Sherman Rek

I remember when I only 9. I had a huge thing for Nolan movies and prayed to him every night before bed, thanking for those masterpieces. He had my love, and he was my life back then. One day dad heard me and used bad words for homosexual. I was insulted, and called him a bad man. He slapped me and sent me back to sleep. I remember crying so much that night. It was so cold. Then I felt it; a sudden, welcome warmth coming towards me. Then I realized it was Chris; I was overjoyed. He whispered in my ear, "this is my plan". I knew what was coming, and I was ready. My posterior spreading wide, all of it for Nolan. It hurt so much, but it was like a Nolan masterpiece. Then out of nowhere, dad comes in. I vividly remember the cold stare, and his raspy voice saying "you’re a big guy now". Nolan left through my window. Nolan is love, Nolan is life.

CIA

Bane?

Aidsincinerator

Now’s not the time for celebrating, that comes later.

Officer William Joseph Murphy Wilson, Jr.

On behalf of all of us here at the CIA,

Thank you Christopher for this big achievement and extreme leap forward in film-making. I, as many others, encourage you to continue your life-long career as a director in order to show all of us what art is. Life is like the smoke of a rising fire, it makes its way to the sky and continue to rise even after the embers of life have burned out. Again, it comes with great congratulations on your becoming a fine, word-class director. Now what’s the next step of your master plan?

BANE

No one cared who I was until I put on the mask.

I'm CIA

He didn’t fly so good!

Agent C

The flight plan I’ve just been filed listed Nolan, I think he was the only one of them

I'm CIA

Alright, get them on blog. I’ll type it in.

Mosquito

  U
U   U
  U

Hot Head

Where am I? I’m so lost. Someone get me out of here!

I'm CIA

First one to blog, get’s to stay on my website.

SMEE

Crashing this blog

WITH NO SHURVIVORS

Louie

Are we really sure that Bane is a big guy? I’ve seen a lot bigger to be honest.

CALL ITTIN

at least you can talk

BRENGANNY FRANZ

A good scene, FOR YOU

Button Lee

so i told chris to make the opening line of his final batman movie "dr. pavel i’m cia".. and he actually did it the absolute madman hahahahahahaha!

Juan O'fyou

I love this scene but i always wondered, was Bane a big guy for the CIA man or was it originally based on the pain that Bane would feel if the CIA man would pull of the mask?

Spc Agent CIA, of the FBI

If he couldn’t pull of this scene, would the film have died

I'm CIA

Perhaps he’s wondering why someone would shoot in IMAX, if you have to dub the voices?

Brendan Fraser

Hey Chris, I was just wondering if you’re planning on doing a sequel to Interstellar. I could work as your lead, or even at a smaller part. I know I,ve called you 7 times already, maybe your phone is broken or something. Please reply to this message. I could use some work y’know

Billy Herrington

I’ll show you who’s boss of this plane.

Smee Maimen

Well congratulations! So what’s the next part of your master direction?

Masketta

we need one of us in the wreckage!

The Masketta Man

Was getting interviewed part of your plan ?

MOSQUITO MAN

Lot of loyalty for a hired writer!

Masketta man

It was a big moment in his career.

Andreas Lubitz

As a pilot, there’s nothing I love more than to see massive planes take flight on the big screen. Sometimes when I’m traveling great distances over lakes and mountains I can’t believe that I’m the guy that’s in control. I scream in my head "This can’t be happening", but then I think back to this great scene and it fills me with hope. The hot feeling of worry in my head vanishes and it’s replaced with the words "I’m in charge here!" Thank you Mr Nolan for this fantastic film. If I ever meet you in person you can ride by plane for free, no charge for you.

Masketta Man

Bravo Nolan!

masketta man

Nolan is the biggest poster I’ve ever seen, the biggest anyone’s seen since the silent era

Maimen

INCREASE THE FIRE

Dr. Paveleer

This can’t be happening! I’m in charge here!

CIA

Nolan, I’m CIA

Seth R

DUDE PLANES LMAO

Professor of big guy studies

Did you know CIA is taller than Bane?

Bin Al-Fleqi

My favorite part of this scene was when the plane crashed

Frank White

This was a big scene for me!

DWP GUY

Somebody get this hothead outta here!

Bill Wilson

Of course this is his favorite scene. Stay big.

Brendan F

I love this scene too! I’d love to work with Chris Nolan, I could use some work

mosquito man

To be honest that scene didn’t fly so well with me…

Bigg Gui

It looks like it would be extremely painful

HOTHEAD

Jesus christ literally this scene is literally cancer. This film is literally the shoah

SEE AYE-EY

Bane is big guy.

masket taman

Poetry

Sheev

Of courshe

Christopher Nolan

The Fire Rises

I.M. Seeiayy

of coursh that’s his favorite

memelord

I love memes.

Little Finger

First one to talk gets to stay in my aircraft

perhaps he was wondering why you would shoot man before throwing him out of an aeroplane

NOLAN FOR BIG GUY CONFIRMED

Fire

Has it started?

MASKETTA MAN

He works for the mercenary

CIA

Uh, you don’t get to bring friends.

4U

Nothing, I said nothing!

MOSQUITO MAN

They were trying to grab your prize.

Anonymous

Perfection.

For you

For you

BIGGESTGUY

Have we started a fire?

BIG GUY

No, brother! They expect one of us in the comment section.

Smee

You’re a Big Guy!
For you
HAHAHA

Big Guy

This scene is responsible for the deaths of 150 hotheads.

CIA

BRAVO NOLAN

Aegis Ittin

@Pike where’s that DWP guy?

Itusntmatir Huwear

Response to hothead Pike
Or perhaps he’s wondering why someone would shoot a scene before throwing it out of an editing.

On-Lee-Wan Avyu

Was getting caught part of your plan?

Masketta Man

Aye.

D'mascaadmann

aye

Mosquito Man

Prize was grabbed.

CIA

DOCTOR PAVEL I’M CIA

BROTHER

LOTTA LOYALTY FOR A HIRED DIRECTOR!

Big Guy

Pike, do you feel in charge ?

i’m afraid your cranial temperature is too high.

Bill Wilson

It’s the biggest scene he’s ever done. The biggest since the silent era.

Pike

Wow, I understand you’d be proud of actually putting this thing together in a practical sense, but cinematically this one might just be Nolan’s worst action sequence. Narratively, it is just utterly nonsensical. It doesn’t make sense as you are watching it, and neither does it after alot of Nolanesque explaning in dialogue later on in the movie. I also just can’t get over the fact that Bane and the doctor on the rope as the plane fuselage drops from around them, are hanging absolutely still. He was never a particularly good editor.
The chase sequence in The Dark Knight is better on all levels.

CIA

BANE?

Bill Wilson

ᕦ ( ͡°╭͜ʖ╮͡° )ᕤ

BANE?

CRASHING THIS PLANE…

Christian

Interesting. I always thought this particular scene was one of Nolan’s most spectacular pieces of large scale filmmaking. The way he moves the camera, frames the shots, edits the shots and uses Zummer’s nightmarish music is riveting. It’s a truly terrifying idea of an action scene and it sets the tone for the finale perfectly. The fire rises! Keep them coming, Christopher.

SMEE MAIMEN

He has a lotta loyalty for a hired director!

Dr Paveleer

BRAVO NOLAN

Wreckage Brother

This was a big scene

Juan Ovus

Yes! The fire rises!

See-Yai Eh

Tell me about Bane, why does he wear the mask?

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