Starting today, Christopher Nolan´s time travel thriller Tenet will be shown in theaters -- due to Corona, the theatrical release has been postponed several times and, unusually, the film is starting earlier internationally than in the U.S., where the theaters are still closed in many places. Cinema operators worldwide have high hopes for Tenet, the first major film premiere after a long dry spell. (Which challenges the cinemas have to deal with, we recently summarized in an article).
However, the first film reviews are quite different; some are disappointed. It seems clear that the film, in which time runs in different directions, is a complex and visually stunning spectacle that cannot be dealt with by logic, as the Süddeutsche, for example, describes quite entertainingly describes. Here the final trailer:
Tenet is the third film that Nolan has made together with DoP Hoyte van Hoytema, mainly on 65mm / IMAX cameras. They used specially made lenses that were faster than usual and also allowed them to get closer to the subject thanks to a lower minimum focusing distance. For Nolan and van Hoytema, it was important for this film to stay as close as possible to the characters -- for an IMAX film, there should be a lot of close-ups. As Hoytema explained to ICG Magazine, many scenes were shot with just one camera to spin a very precise narrative: "A good story has a specific manner in which it should be told. That creates an ambition to put the camera in the right spot to capture the ideal perspective, so it´s a single-camera mindset. Unique action scenes were of course covered with several cameras from different perspectives.
John David Washington in the leading role
In this film, Nolan remains true to his preference for practical special effects. This time there should be less than 300 VFX shots, according to an estimate by editor Jennifer Lame. Even for Nolan, this is unusually low, and for an action movie, it is an extremely low number, otherwise it is much higher - in "Avengers: Endgame", for example, it was around 2,000.
The team even went so far as to have a real Boeing 747 crash into a hangar chrashed instead of shooting the sequence with miniatures as originally planned and then spicing it up in postpro. During location scouting, they came across a number of discarded airplanes and then, while calculating, realized that it would even be cheaper to film a real explosion...