Christopher Nolan On Francis Bacon And The Joker

With Loach and Leigh talking art for the Tate

If you’ve ever wondered how Heath Ledger’s Joker came by that tortured visage of his, the newly refurbished Tate Britain is the place to go. The venerable gallery has launched three short YouTube films linking film and art. This one sees Christopher Nolan pull the thread from the Joker back to his inspiration, Francis Bacon, a mainstay at the Pimlico picture palace. Click below to hear Nolan’s thoughts on the great artist and his influence on Heath Ledger and Dark Knight makeup artist John Caglione’s work.

Interestingly, the director also takes the chance to reiterate his fidelity to celluloid, drawing parallels between the analogue image and the handmade quality of Bacon’s work. “It’s inherently a little sterile”, Nolan says of the digital image. “There’s a little bit more of a barrier between what you’re trying to do and reaching an audience”. Alongside Nolan’s interview are the thoughts of Mike Leigh on JMW Turner and Ken Loach discussing the work of English painter William Hogarth, a major influence on his next feature, Jimmy’s Hall.

The newly refurbished gallery has its door opens and the welcome mat out. Head to the Tate website for all the visitor info -just as soon as you’ve delved into this devastatingly interesting piece on movies inspired by artwork.