Christopher Nolan reveals what makes the war story ‘Dunkirk’ a great suspense thriller

For years, Christopher Nolan has set most of his films in the realm of fantasy. He explored the maze of the subconscious mind in “Inception,” sent astronauts through a wormhole in “Interstellar,” and offered what many consider the definitive take on the caped crusader in “The Dark Knight” trilogy. Even his suspense-thriller “Memento” played with time and the mind.

But the Oscar-nominated filmmaker will return to earthbound events with the World War II drama “Dunkirk,” which hits theaters in July. The film tells the story of the evacuation of Allied soldiers that took place after 400,000 troops from France, Britain, Canada and Belgium found themselves surrounded by the German army on the beaches of Dunkirk, France.

Before Nolan unveiled a few minutes of footage from the film for movie theater owners at CinemaCon this week, we met him at a hotel bar to talk about his new movie. And as you’ll see, that was really all he wanted to talk about.

There’s been a lot of talk here this week about the increasing number of film fans who prefer to watch movies at home. Do you think there will be a CinemaCon in 10 years?

Oh, yes. I think cinema and the theatrical presentation of cinema is really an element of our culture. It’s a wonderful thing.

I think the exhibition community is such a vital part of what we do. It’s very important to come here. They’re our partners in this. The old joke is the exhibitionist has the final cut, and it’s not a million miles away from the truth when you’re putting on a show. The people who own the theaters and put on that presentation are our partners in putting on the show.

Do you ever watch movies at home?

Yes. Everybody watches film at home and in the cinema. That’s been my entire life — I’m of the home video generation. We’ve never had any problem distinguishing between the experience. The value that you’re getting sitting with a large group of people when a new movie…

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