Tenet - Add Christopher Nolan to the All Time Greats
The film Tenet, directed by Christopher Nolan, is a masterpiece. The palindromic film takes filmmaking in directions not yet explored. I won't go into any detail at all regarding the story because many people still have not seen the film. I could talk for hours about the masterful acting we're seeing from both John David Washington (lead in BlackkKlansman, Ballers) and Robert Pattinson (lead of The Lighthouse, GoodTime) or
about the beautiful cinematography that makes horrifying events and concepts seem natural and enigmatic.
But I won't.
Instead I will use this opportunity to discuss Christopher Nolan and how Tenet cements his place in filmmaking history.
When discussing the greatest filmmakers, there are only a few that come up in every debate: Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese. We can now officially add Christopher Nolan to that list.
All the greatest filmmakers have something in common – style. They don't share a style but rather their films all fit their own unique, personal ambiance. Kubrick's films were individually phenomenal, but as a collection the greatest group of individual films ever made. Hitchcock invented the genre of the thriller. Scorsese is the father of the narrative epic. Where does Nolan fit in here?
Christopher Nolan has now created back-to-back-to-back-to-back films that all present time and science through the way the narrative is structured. Inception not only showed us, the viewer, Dicaprio's descent into his own mind, it took the viewer deeper into the rabbit hole with him. Nolan then took the viewer through the laws of space and time that were verified by actual scientists in Interstellar. After that, Christopher turned time on it's head and showed us three different timelines all in one film, Dunkirk.
Now with Tenet, Nolan has made a movie that is completely palindromic. Without giving too much away, the film challenges our perception of time, reality and destiny. Other directors and filmmakers have attempted all of these things before. When they have, it's always through long exposition, overly complicated and nonsensical dialogue and literal on screen explanations. Nolan puts much more faith into the audience. Nothing is transparent. There is no answer to Inception or Interstellar or Tenet. There is no exposition or closing monologue that explains the rules of the universe.
Nolan trusts the audience to figure it out for ourselves because there is no exact answer to life's most intricate questions, and he does it beautifully. All of his films are extremely well thought out, fantastically shot and orchestrated to the teeth by none other than Hanz Zimmer. They are pieces of art being released into an industry that actively works to subdue art and push out mass pleasing content. But it's the greats like Kubrick, Scorsese, Hitchcock and now Nolan that consistently push those boundaries and put out truly original and breathtaking films like Tenet.
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