Christopher Nolan says too much easily accessible technology at his disposal would only be a distraction to his work.
Christopher Nolan has made a name for himself in movies as a devotee to practical effects, choosing to do even the most elaborate action sequences without the use of CGI. So the Inception hallway scene? Practical. The Joker’s 18-wheeler flipping over in The Dark Knight? Done in a Chicago street. As it turns out, he forgoes frills when it comes to his cell phone, too, saying he refuses to own a smartphone — obviously aware of just how addicted he would get to Candy Crush Saga.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Christopher Nolan admitted, “My kids would probably say I’m a complete Luddite…I would actually resist that description. I think technology and what it can provide is amazing. My personal choice is about how involved I get. It’s about the level of distraction. If I’m generating my material and writing my own scripts, being on a smartphone all day wouldn’t be very useful for me.” As THR notes, Nolan does use a computer to write his scripts but disconnects it from the internet.
Still, despite his position on CGI and cell phones, we all know Christopher Nolan is far from being square when it comes to technological advancements so long as they’re used properly. Speaking recently on the use of AI, “The person who wields it still has to maintain responsibility for wielding that tool. If we accord AI the status of a human being, the way at some point legally we did with corporations, then yes, we’re going to have huge problems.”
As for his next film, Oppenheimer, Christopher Nolan felt compelled to let people know that he did not actually set off a bomb when filming the Trinity test, the 1945 detonation of the first nuclear weapon that had the energy of 25 kilotons of TNT. The guy might seem crazy for not having a smartphone, but come on!
You can see the monumental achievement — both that moment and the film itself — when Oppenheimer comes to theaters in a huge way on July 21st.
What is your take on Christopher Nolan’s stance on CGI, smartphones and other hip technology?