Christopher Nolan’s ‘Tenet’ opens to great expectations | Cinema | DW

The coronavirus pandemic has turned the film industry upside down. Some experts are already seeing the disappearance of the “seventh art”, as film shoots have been canceled, film distributors have ceased operations and cinemas around the world have had to close for months. The financial losses to the industry have been gigantic, with many jobs lost or at stake.

Now Distributors, Theater Owners and Other Movie Players Are Banking on Christopher Nolan’s Film Principle. Why is an entire industry focused on one movie?

Christopher Nolan (right) tells actor John David Washington (l) what he’s aiming for in ‘Tenet’

Unlike major movie studios such as Disney or Sony, Warner Bros. takes a different approach with Principle: The Christopher Nolan movie is actually supposed to be shown in theaters.

Long-awaited blockbusters like Disney’s Mulane were forced into the streaming business as the global coronavirus pandemic made a worldwide theatrical release impossible. The executives decided to save expensive movies financially by generating at least some revenue from streaming sales.

Principle, meanwhile, is set to open on August 26 in around 70 countries, mostly in Europe. In the following days, launches are also planned for the Asian market and Australia. The United States, South America and India will not be included for the time being, as infection rates there are still too high. However, in the United States, Principle is set to open in “selected locations” on September 3, but it’s not entirely certain if that can happen.

Principle eagerly awaited by fans

Tenet isn’t just any movie; it is one of the most anticipated films to be released this year. It is in the league of blockbusters whose production costs would exceed 200 million dollars (169.2 million euros).

And it’s not just kids, who normally go to the cinema to see superhero and action movies, who are excited about the release of Nolan’s eleventh film. Moviegoers with discriminating tastes are equally excited, and much of that is down to the director: American-British Nolan enjoys cult status.

His work is often compared to that of the legendary Stanley Kubrick, as Nolan is also able to skillfully unite two cinematic worlds. On the one hand, his movies are very visually appealing. They’re entertaining and imaginative, exciting and full of surprises, and they implement the most advanced technology and proven cinematic tricks. Yet they are also compelling for moviegoers, as they are usually based on intricate storylines with sensational and intricate storylines.

Director Stanley Kubrik on set during the filming of 2001: A Space Odyssey with actors dressed in space costumes

Director Stanley Kubrik on set during the filming of ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’

Nolan’s films: something for everyone

This makes Nolan’s films something for fun-seeking teens and tweens, as well as fans of arthouse cinema. Nolan, like Kubrick, is considered obsessed with movies. He is well versed in film history, loves classics and old film technologies, but is also open to new developments and technical innovations. He’s an old-school master who also has his eye on the future of cinema.

Filmstill of the movie Batman The Dark Knight featuring Heath Ledger as the Joker

The Batman film ‘The Dark Knight’ (2008), starring Heath Ledger (above), illustrated how Nolan could turn old into new

In an interview with the German weekly The SpiegelNolan explained what draws him to the medium: “When we talked to people after the test screenings of Principle, it was especially the young people who were puzzled, because they had never seen such images before. We used tricks, some of which already existed in the days of silent cinema.” Sometimes, according to Nolan, you have to “go back to old techniques to create new images”.

Likes to film in the street

Nolan loves analog cameras and motion picture gear, as well as non-digital based stuff. He also likes to shoot in the street. “With Principle, I want to give energy to the cinema and captivate the public in front of the cinema screens. I want to give them what they want when they go to the movies,” Nolan said in the Spiegel interview.

Filmstill of Tenet: Actor Kenneth Branagh pushing actress Elizabeth Debicki against a glass wall

Dramatic Images: Elizabeth Debicki and Kenneth Branagh in the movie “Tenet”

A James Bond movie also needs to be seen on the big screen, Nolan noted. It is no coincidence that he makes this comparison. In some scenes, Principle strongly reminiscent of films involving the famous British agent 007. Principle was also filmed in many different locations, in seven countries on multiple continents. “I want to give viewers the feeling of being immersed in a larger than life, unknown and exciting world,” said the director. He thought he had already come very close to a James Bond film with Creation, his seventh film, released in 2010). Again “Principle’ goes even further,” he said.

time travel in Principle

Principle is a combination of spy, action and science fiction and, as is often the case with Nolan, focuses on the phenomenon of time. Some sort of superagent (played by John David Washington, son of Denzel Washington) is supposed to save the world from a hell of war.

Filmstill of Tenet showing John David Washington crossing a street

Could be his major breakthrough: John David Washington in ‘Tenet’

He is assisted by a colleague (played by Robert Pattinson) who knows more about a very specific phenomenon called “tenet” which can be used to outwit time. The pair’s main adversary is based in Russia, which is also reminiscent of the world of James Bond. Corn Principle is undoubtedly a film of the new millennium, especially as Nolan once again develops a complex arrangement involving time and space.

Expectations are high: among cinema owners around the world, who are hoping for significant revenues in the coming weeks, after the drought of the past few months caused by the COVID-19 pandemic; among young moviegoers excited about a spectacular new blockbuster; and among Nolan enthusiasts, who are anticipating another complex magical work from the master director.

Adaptation: Louisa Schaefer