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“Every Distributor Passed”: Christopher Nolan Recalls “Devastating” Early Days Of ‘Memento’

"Every Distributor Passed": Christopher Nolan Recalls "Devastating" Early Days Of 'Memento'

These days, Christopher Nolan is one of the few directors who is given creative carte blanche and blockbuster sized budgets so he can create his own original visions on the big screen. But there was a time he was just another independent filmmaker trying to get noticed, and even fifteen years on from “Memento,” he still remembers very clearly that at one time, no one in Hollywood wanted anything to do with him or his narratively tricky little movie.

“We organized a big distribution screening in L.A. the weekend all the distributors were coming to town for the Spirit Awards,” he said recently at BAFTA (via THR). “But every distributor passed [on it] in one night — nobody wanted it. Some of the distributors were really awful to us, actually, and said they’d walked out of the film. It was a really, really tough ride … pretty devastating.”

It’s a sobering reminder that pretty much every director had to scrape their way to get noticed. In Nolan’s case, once the movie did find it’s way to screens, his hard work paid off with a healthy box office for the indie film. It earned critical acclaim and, more crucially, an open door into Hollywood. “It was a really unique road. I don’t think I’ll ever have a moment like that [again] in my career,” Nolan said. However, he does have advice for those who are making their way with their movie careers — be ready to seize the moment when it arrives. 

“The thing that happens to a lot of people is that you get that opportunity, somebody says, ‘I really loved your film, what else do you have?’ And if you don’t have anything, or if you’ve just got vague ideas, it’s very difficult to take advantage of that moment, and that moment doesn’t come around again,” Nolan shared. “You’ve got to jump on it.”  

READ MORE: Ranked: The Films Of Christopher Nolan

But the question on everyone’s mind right now is, where does Christopher Nolan go after “Interstellar“? Tell us below what you think he should get up to next.

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