The most-anticipated film of the year, Dunkirk, landed on our shores last week, and with it returned one of the best directors around, Christopher Nolan.
To celebrate we looked back at his career so far with a Beginner’s Guide to Christopher Nolan.
We also examined his close working relationship with Hans Zimmer, who has scored many of Nolan’s most recent films.
Still hungry for more Christopher Nolan? Why not check out the story of how Interstellar was nearly made by someone else…none other than Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg.
But that’s all cannon fodder compared to the real reason you’re here: testing your knowledge of one of the finest filmmakers working today. Head on down to take our Christopher Nolan quiz and see how well you really know his films.
Which of these is a short film directed by Christopher Nolan
That's right, Christopher Nolan's best known short film is Doodlebug! It features a man (Jeremy Theobald) trying to crush a bug before things take a strange twist. Bonus points if you knew that the other options were all nicknames of aircraft, just like the Doodlebug was the nickname for the V-1 flying bomb.
Nolan slipped a film reference into his first feature, Following (1998), with his choice of alias for Bill (Jeremy Theobald). You might be able to guess which director he's a fan of, but what name does he choose?
So you probably noticed that these are all characters in Stanley Kubrick films, but only one of them is used as an alias, and that's Danny Lloyd (The Shining). The other options were from 2001: A Space Odyssey (Dave Bowman), Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb (Merkin Muffley) and Eyes Wide Shut (William Harford)
About which film figures and siblings did Nolan direct a documentary short in 2015?
One of these things is not like the others. Quay is a short documentary about the identical twin brothers who are both influential stop-motion animators. Christopher Nolan has not made any films about the Wachowskis, the Coens, or, believe it or not, Gary and Martin Kemp.
The infamous 'braaaaaaaaahm' noise from the Inception soundtrack is actually a slowed down version of part of which song?
Yup, it's Je Ne Regrette Rien by Edith Piaf, which of course features in the film itself as a trigger song. The infamous foghorn noise from the soundtrack is just a slowed down version of the horns from the start of the song. Don't you kind of wish it was Ça Plane Pour Moi though?
The films Christopher Nolan has directed have racked up quite a few Oscar nominations between them, but which won the most?
It's a close run thing! Memento was nominated for two Oscars - Best Original Screenplay and Best Editing - but won neither. The Dark Knight was nominated for eight Oscars - Supporting Actor, Sound Editing, Cinematography, Film Editing, Art Direction, Makeup, Sound Mixing and Visual Effects - but only won the first two. Inception was also nominated for eight - Cinematography, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Visual Effects, Best Picture, Original Screenplay, Original Score and Art Direction - and it won the first four of those. Interstellar was nominated for five - Visual Effects, Original Score, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Production Design - and only won for Visual Effects. So the winner is Inception, with four wins! It's also interesting to note that despite all those wins, Nolan is yet to take home an Oscar himself.
Nolan helped bring forth the current age of superheroes with his Dark Knight trilogy, but on which other DC film does he have a story credit?
Nolan remained involved in the DCEU after he left the Batman series, helping to guide the extended universe. He is credited as an executive producer on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but he only gets a story credit on one film, and that's Man of Steel. Christopher Nolan's Suicide Squad will have to remain one for your dreams/nightmares.
Which of the following appears in all three films in the Dark Knight series?
You got it - Cillian Murphy crops up in all three films, which also makes him the first villain to reappear in any of the Batman films so far (as played by the same actor). Liam Neeson appeared in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight Rises, Maggie Gyllenhaal replaced Katie Holmes as Rachel in just The Dark Knight, and Jeremy Irons of course doesn't even play Alfred in *this* trilogy. You'll have to give Zack Snyder a ring to get the address for that Wayne Mansion.
Memento (2000) famously features a lead character, Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce), who suffers from anterograde amnesia, AKA short-term memory loss. But what other condition plays a significant role in the film's backstory?
During Memento, Leonard tells the story of Sammy Jankis, a man he met during his old job as an insurance investigator. Sammy suffered from the same condition as Leonard does now, and it was Leonard's job to decide if his condition was mental (meaning he wouldn't receive an insurance payout) or physical. Leonard decides on the former, and it puts doubts in the mind of Sammy's wife. She is diabetic and it is Sammy's job to inject her with her daily insulin. She lies about how many times he's injected her one day, reasoning that his love for her will override his condition and stop him from overdosing her. *Spoiler* She's wrong.
In Interstellar (2014), when Cooper and Dr Brand land on Miller's planet, time becomes distorted due to the presence of the black hole Gargantua. One hour on the planet is equal to how long on Earth?
That's right, one hour on the planet equals a whopping seven years back on Earth, leading to the classic scene where Cooper watches 23 years' worth of video messages from his daughter once he returns to the spaceship. Fans of Cristian Mungiu will recognise what the other options were...
Two Nolan films feature key characters with the same name. What name and films are they?
Nolan likes to slip in references to his other films here and there. He arguably came close to using the same name twice with Alfred the butler (Michael Caine) in the Dark Knight trilogy and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) in The Prestige. But, those characters' full names differ. There's only one name that appears exactly the same in two films, and that's Cobb, in Inception and Following. What's more, the character is a kind of thief in both films, played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Alex Haw respectively.
Which of Christopher Nolan's feature films (excluding Dunkirk) has the highest rating on Rotten Tomatoes?
It's a close-run thing, but The Dark Knight takes it, with a 94% rating. Memento managed 92%, Inception 86% and Interstellar only 71%.
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