Christopher Nolan is widely known as a student of film and cinema. His movies are full of references and influences from earlier works, and his latest, Interstellar, is no exception. Watching the epic space adventure slash family drama unfold, you can’t help but notice nods to the work of other filmmakers. While there is obvious inspiration taken from films like Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Philip Kaufman’s The Right Stuff, there are many more that you wouldn’t necessarily expect. Just for the hell of it, we’ve compiled a handful of classic black and white films (and one that is, admittedly, cheating) whose presence can be felt, to varying degrees, in Nolan’s latest offering.
A Trip to the Moon
Georges Méliès’ 1902 A Trip to the Moon has the distinguished honor of being the oldest film on this list by far, and, based on the work of Jules Verne and others, is widely regarded as the first science fiction film ever made. In that sense alone, the film’s echoes can be felt at the theater this weekend, but there’s more. What Interstellar does better than anything else, is capture a sense of awe and wonder when it comes to looking up to the stars and exploring the unknown. While that has been going on since humans first crawled out of the primordial muck, cinematically speaking, that obsession began right here. Every movie that came afterwards owes a debt to this. The themes of looking upwards and marveling, and intrepid adventurers journeying to mysterious other worlds that are at the forefront of A Trip to the Moon are the very corner stones of sci-fi, and on full display in Interstellar.