Christopher NolanThe talented director Christopher Nolan is well known for his non-linear timelines, obsessive and unreliable characters, endings which are available to be left up to interpretation, and, of course, his dreamlike settings and attention to landscape. His latest directorial venture Interstellar, a shot in Alberta sci-fi adventure will be in theatres November 7, 2014.

Nolan chose Alberta as his backdrop. While the movie is still shrouded in secrecy, with little confirmed regarding the plot of the film, we do know for sure that multiple A-list actors, including Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Casey Affleck, Michael Caine, and John Lithgow all visited Alberta last summer in order to film for the highly anticipated flick.

The cast and crew shot in various locations, including the Seaman Stadium, Okotoks town square, Lethbridge, and Longview. This is not the first time that Nolan has scoped out the beautiful Canadian landscape for his films. Back in 2010, he filmed parts of the award-winning Inception, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, near Fortress Mountain in Kananaskis Village.

What we do know about the Interstellar’s plot is that it involves a group of astronauts (including McConaughey and Hathaway) who set out on a mission to explore a wormhole. The story was inspired by the scientific theories of renowned theoretical physicist Kip Thorne, who was one of the first scientists to conduct research on whether the laws of physics might allow wormholes to be used for time travel.

The film is an original storyline written by Christopher Nolan’s brother, Jonathan Nolan, who has also contributed to the screenplays for the Dark Knight films and even wrote the short story which the film Memento was based on. In Interstellar, the astronauts discover a new wormhole and set out to see if human space travel is a possible, and if they can “transcend previous human limitations.”

The official website for Interstellar boosts that,

The ambition is that Interstellar will depict a heroic voyage to the farthest borders of our scientific understanding.

It’s tough to say how far the film could possibly stretch the mind, though, since even if scientists were able to accumulate every Alberta energy source – all of the oil sands, natural gas, solar, wind, and more – all that put together still couldn’t muster a tenth of the energy and power to needed to open a wormhole (which is still theoretical, anyway). Interstellar will have to create an interesting storyline in order to get around this problem in a believable fashion.

Besides straining the limits of believability and scientific possibility, what makes this film even more intriguing for movie buffs is that it somehow escaped the mandate set by Paramount Pictures which requires all its films, beginning with The Wolf of Wall Street, to be shot and released in a digital format.

Christopher Nolan successfully managed to convince Paramount that he absolutely had to film Interstellar on ordinary film instead, (specifically using anamorphic 35mm and IMAX film photography) which is a technique that he is adamant about with every one of his projects.

As we gear up for the highly anticipated film releases of 2014, put Interstellar on your viewing list, look out for the familiar Alberta settings in the film, and possibly learn a thing or two about the future of time travel.


Kate Voss is an arts and culture blogger who has reviewed all types of movies, including Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Devil’s Due. You can find her online at @Kateevoss.