Christopher Nolan on How Art Informs Film

Frames of reference.


We learn from many mediums.

Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight is, in a word, unforgettable. So when I stumbled across The Tate‘s video exploring Nolan’s inspiration for the Joker’s makeup, I was hooked.

Nolan discusses the influence of Francis Bacon’s paintings and, more generally, how art can inform a filmmaker’s creative vision as well as his approach to problem solving. It’s a healthy reminder that “having other frames of reference, having other windows into other possibilities, is essential.”

This week, step away from your screen after hours. Pick up a book, take in some theatre, visit a gallery… we learn from many mediums!

 Michael Koehler, with

For more lessons from Christopher Nolan and other legendary directors, we invite you to learn filmmaking online with us! Our online film school is everything you need to learn how to create professional narrative and documentary films using the equipment you already have, wherever you live, with guidance, community, and resources at a fraction of the cost of traditional film school.


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