Filmmaking cinephile Christopher Nolan’s passion for the works of Stanley Kubrick and war classics including All Quiet on the Western Front loom large in his films.
Now, the Dunkirk director has revealed yet another title which he believes to be one of the greatest films ever made.
Nolan – whose films include Memento and the Dark Knight trilogy – named Pather Panchali from Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray during a recent visit to Mumbai, India where he brought his fight to preserve celluloid usage in cinema to the country boasting the world’s largest film industry.
Released in 1955, Pather Panchali – translated as ‘Song of the Little Road’ – depicts the childhood of young boy Apu (Subir Banerjee) and his elder sister Durga (Uma Dasgupta) and the harsh village life of their poor family.
He attended a series of events dedicated to a campaign titled ‘Reframing the Future of Film’ which saw 70mm and 35mm screenings of his films including Interstellar.
Speaking to press regarding the visit, Nolan said: “We had a very productive session with the Indian industry, just like we have had in Hollywood and the UK. We are really trying to engage filmmakers in this discussion in how we can continue to enjoy a celluloid, photochemical, analogue infrastructure in filmmaking.”
He continued: “It’s not about film versus digital – it’s about preserving this medium for future generations.”
Nolan vowed to “watch more Indian films in future,” stating: “I have had the pleasure of watching [Satyajit] Ray’s Pather Panchali recently, which I hadn’t seen before. I think it is one of the best films ever made. It is an extraordinary piece of work. I am interested in learning more about Indian film industry and that is the reason why I came.”
The filmmaker earned his first Best Director nomination at the 2018 Oscars for Dunkirk, the WWII film which won a total of three. Ahead of the film’s release in July 2017, Nolan curated a season of films that inspired it for the British Film Institute (BFI).
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