Christopher Nolan enjoys bending the traditional rules of gravity and physics to his own peculiar whim. You can see it in the show-stopping aerial attack that opens “The Dark Knight Rises” as well as the memorable moment in “Interstellar” where the mountains on the ocean planet visited by Team McConaughey turn out to be giant freaking tidal waves. There are plenty of folks who will argue for his dense, exposition-heavy heist thriller of the mind “Inception,” and also plenty of folks who will argue against it. What cannot be denied is the righteous majesty of the film’s unrivaled action centerpiece: a third act hallway smack-down that takes place in a lavish hotel corridor with zero gravity. It’s a breathtaking display of bravura filmmaking and one of the all-time greatest set pieces of Nolan’s career. Courtesy of a new video from Cinefix, viewers at home can now take an in-depth look at this dazzling scene and get a good sense of the hard work that went into creating it.
The, erhm, inception of “Inception” is well known—at least in most movie circles. Nolan had been sitting on the idea for over a decade when he brought it to Warner Brothers in 2002, after his moody murder mystery “Insomnia” proved to be a commercial hit. It was only after the $1 billion dollar gross and almost universal critical acclaim of his superhero masterpiece “The Dark Knight” that the studio was willing to spend top dollar on a property that had no pre-existing fanbase and was not a remake or comic book adaptation. Warner Brother’s gamble paid off, as the film has grossed a little over $800 million worldwide to date and is touted by many as Nolan’s best and most misunderstood film. To be sure, the British director’s vision is certainly commendable, even if the film itself is sometimes frustrating. The video below gives us a brief, but in-depth look into his process and how hard he fought to get the film he wanted made.
I’ll leave it for you to watch the video, but needless to say, the labor and ingenuity at work in bringing Nolan’s gravity-defiant, gorgeously shape-shifting provisional set to life are nothing if not impressive. This is all the more notable when you consider that Nolan has always been committed to shooting on film and using only practical effects. It’s a great watch: for fans of the film, and for fans of creative, large-scale effects in general. Check out the entire video below.