ln .llemento the rape and murder ol‘ a woman induces short term memory loss in her husband (played by (iuy Pearce). But he recalls the crime \‘ia intact long-term memories. and that recollection leads the man on a tortured investigation to ﬁnd his wil'e‘s murderer. through which he (llscm‘et‘s some unpleasant truths about himselll
"l‘he lilm was based on a short story that my younger brother Jonathan wrote.~ recalls .\'olan. '\\'e both agreed that the best way of telling a story about a guy that can‘t remember anything is to tell it in the lirst person. We spent a long time trying to ligure out how you use the structure ol‘ the lilm to help the audience get into his head. and eyentually I realised by inserting the chronology and telling the lilm backwards. you go a long way to putting the audience into his mindset.’
Kttmt‘lttg lloll_\'lt'oo(l had (l('(/llll'('(l the rights” to I'(’Itl(lk‘(’ Insomnia. Nolan. who had yet to make .llemento. approaehed llarner Brothers ahoat rewriting the ﬁlm. ('n/ortanately. they'd already hired .S'eit: for the jol). .S'o Nolan made .llentetlto and then showed it to lloll_\‘\t‘oo(l. l’eople responded well. ine/ading .S'tet‘en .S'oderhergh. n‘ho eame onhoard Insomnia as an ('.\'('('llll\'(’ prodta'er and eom'ineed llarners to git‘e Nolan the (lit‘ei'lot'is (“hill/2
l-ol/on'ing doesn‘t get into the head of its protagonist in the
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way .llemento does. but Nolan‘s lirst lilm is. il‘ anything. a more subjectiye piece ol~ work. The script is based on Nolan's experiences living in London. in particular haying his llat in (‘amden burgled. ‘I found that a yery peculiar experiencef he says. ‘lt got me thinking about the strange ways that people connect in a big city. I put that together with the idea ol'just picking people out of a crowd and following them.’ And that's where Nolan‘s lirst idea for a feature lilm came from.
.\'on; with two remarkahlr well-made .-\meriean films to his name. .\'olan has joined the hand/id o/‘ji/mnnikers .S'oderhetgh with ()tit olSight. l)(ll'l(l () Russell n‘ith lhree Kings working i)!!! (fl/lollt‘tt'ootl to make the kind olive/l- era/ted. intelligent genre einema lt'(’ haren't seen sinee the golden age of the 70s u'hii'h prodai'ed et'errthing from litri l)rii'er to The l-reneh ('onneetion. l-ront l.ondon to [A in three/i/ms. that 's not had going.
The phone rings around midnight on 'l'uesday lo July. I pick it up. ‘l lello Miles: says (‘ltt'islopltct' Nolan.
‘llellof I reply. "l'hanks for agreeing to speak to me about lnsomnia.‘ Because we‘re speaking at the witching hour. I ask: '\\'hat‘s the matter. (‘hristopherl’ (‘an't sleep."
Insomnia plays UGC, Sun 25 Aug, 8pm. See review.
\'\...l :~ :§-_-;
.‘ THE LIST FESTIVAL GUIDE 59