Hollywood has never seen a filmmaker like Stanley Kubrick since the famed auteur’s demise. Nowadays, Christopher Nolan is often seen as the heir-apparent to the throne left vacant by Kubrick.
is one actor who has had the privilege of working with both filmmakers. In an interview with ReelBlend podcast, Modine shared his thoughts on whether Nolan could be said to be following in the footsteps of Kubrick.
“People ask me that a lot about [that]. ‘Is Christopher Nolan the new Stanley Kubrick?’ And I say, ‘I don’t think that Christopher Nolan’s trying to be the new Stanley Kubrick. I think he’s trying to be the next Christopher Nolan.’ Stanley wasn’t trying to be anybody else.”
“And the brilliant thing that Stanley did was, having moved from New York and then spent time in Los Angeles and then eventually ending up in England was that it gave him a safe distance from outside influence… You can be inspired by another director’s work, and other cinematographers, and the art direction, or the music that a director puts into a film or the team that he assembles on the film, but you have to find your own way.”
According to Matthew Modine, Nolan, who loves Kubrick, and has named the latter the greatest filmmaker of all time, believes in striking out on his own and creating his own path rather than mimicking anyone else, just like Kubrick before him.
“If they have something in common, Christopher Nolan is trying to find his own way, his own path. just as Alan Parker found his own path to do – who I worked with on Birdie. Or Robert Altman was continually trying to find his own way of telling stories. And it’s kind of improvisational.”
“I think that he was the most like a jazz musician of directors that I worked with, you know, the way that he cast his films, the way that he directed actors on the film. What Stanley found a way to do was to be one of the most efficient producers that I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. … To be able to have that kind of freedom, that’s what Kubrick would create. He created his own studio system in order to be able to find his own voice and tell his own stories.”
Nolan is still a relatively recent filmmaker, and his best work may yet be in front of him, to be unveiled in the coming years. So it will be some time before critics are able to get some distance from his work in order to judge it with the proper perspective and see how it stacks up against the works of Kubrick. In any case, to the general audience, it makes no difference which filmmaker is considered the better of the other. Both Kubrick and Nolan have gathered a global fan following with their gift of storytelling, and that is a win for everyone. Cinemablend Podcast was the first to release this news.