Filmmaker Christopher Nolan arrived in Mumbai on Friday to kick-off a three-day programme for the promotion and preservation of celluloid film. This is a cause that has been close to the filmmaker’s heart for many years, as seen in his persistence in shooting on celluloid even as most others have moved on to digital. Nolan is accompanied by his wife Emma Thomas and children on his first trip to the country.
The programme of events, on which Nolan has collaborated with British artist Tacita Dean and Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, founder of Film Heritage Foundation, started on Friday with a lecture by Dean called ‘Process and the Non-deliberate Act: Why the medium of film is important to artists’. The celebrated artist accompanied her lecture with a slideshow and talked at length about the use of 16mm and 35mm film in her work. The heritage structure of the Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum was, appropriately enough, the venue for the lecture which delved into the importance of celluloid filmmaking as an art form of historical and current value. “I have been called a Luddite for refusing to go digital. Don’t let anyone call you a Luddite (for using film). Painting is older than film, but it is still important,” she said. The lecture was followed by a conversation between Dean and poet and cultural theorist, Ranjit Hoskote.
While Nolan was in the audience at Dean’s lecture, he is expected to take centre stage at the screenings of two of his films – Dunkirk, which will be shown in 70mm IMAX at Carnival Cinemas in Mumbai on Saturday at 6 pm and Interstellar, which will be shown in 35 mm at Mumbai’s Liberty Cinema on Sunday at 9 pm. The filmmaker will also be participating in a closed-door roundtable discussion on Saturday with prominent members of the Indian film industry. The main event, around which the programme has been designed, is ‘Reframing the Future of Film: in Conversation with Christopher Nolan, Tacita Dean and Shivendra Singh Dungarpur’, which will be held at Mumbai’s Tata Theatre, NCPA, on Sunday.