by ERIC GUZMAN
Christopher Nolan explores new worlds and far-away galaxies in his new science fiction adventure film, “Interstellar,” yet focuses on human nature while questioning modern man’s drive to push boundaries in space exploration.
Nolan, director of “The Dark Knight” trilogy and “Inception,” sets his latest film on an apocalyptic Earth afflicted with severe food shortages.
Cooper, played by Matthew McConaughey, is a skilled pilot and engineer who is chosen to lead a four-man crew, played by Anne Hathaway, Wes Bentley and David Gyasi. They travel into outer-space to traverse a wormhole in search of a new home for humanity. In taking on this mission, Cooper must leave behind his two children, Murphy and Tom, for an indefinite amount of time, perhaps never seeing them again.
While Nolan’s films are often grandiose in scale in terms of setting and plot, the heart of a true “Nolan film” lays in the scrupulous attention to emotions that serve as the basis for the entire film: guilt in “Inception,” vengeance in “Memento” and fear in “The Dark Knight Rises.”
“Interstellar” appears to be no exception to this pattern. While the plot involves the characters traversing across galaxies to distant planets, Nolan has continually expressed that the conflict of the film is based on human nature, man’s place in the universe and the responsibility of being a parent, resembling Alfonso Cuaron’s “Gravity.”
Nolan uses Interstellar to question humanity’s drive to explore the unknown. Raised during a time of extensive space exploration, Nolan feels that that he has witnessed the once widespread dream of becoming an astronaut greatly diminished. Nolan believes that there has been a shift in technological advancements from exploring the universe to creating computational mobile devices.
Nolan’s belief is clearly reflected in the setting of Interstellar in which Cooper wants to help solve the Earth’s resource crisis using his skills as an engineer yet is incapable of doing so.
Cooper’s feelings of helplessness mirror Nolan’s feelings that the humanity has stopped pushing the boundaries of space exploration. The first trailer of Interstellar features several clips of NASA’s greatest achievements-breaking the sound barrier, flying into outer space and landing on the moon-coupled with a narration by Cooper in which he describes humanity as having forgotten the pioneering spirit.
The clips of NASA’s achievements end with the landing of the Atlantis space shuttle, NASA’s last space shuttle launch and Cooper’s words that humanity’s pioneering has “barely begun, that [their] greatest accomplishments cannot be behind [them], that [their] destiny lies above [them].”
“Interstellar” is rated PG-13 and will have a limited release in only 35mm, 70 mm and IMAX 70 mm formats Nov. 5, followed by a wider release in all formats Nov. 7