Tenet

Tenet ★★★½

Watched w/ Krista. She expressed a preference for something "not old," and diverting. I can't express how perfectly this movie hit the mark. There's nothing old about it. JDW just became a movie star, like, yesterday, and Elizabeth Debicki has a look and a vibe that feel very 21st-century. I love the way Nolan's passion for cinematography that is film-based instead of digital-based and for having on-camera events instead of digital effects (both of which could be construed as perversely purist, backward-looking passions) has the end result of making something that feels curiously freshly-minted, anxious to get to the future, where it will ideally be appreciated as something "ahead of its time."

I really enjoyed Alissa Wilkinson's piece on the Sator square and on the movie:

Nolan likes to challenge our preconceptions. At times he’s proposed worlds where the rules of the universe that we take for granted — about space, dimensions, the human body, the nature of dreams — are bent into strange new shapes. In Tenet, he does this with time and entropy, proposing a world in which humans have figured out how to reverse the natural process of decline and move backward. He is suggesting that the things most of us assume are impossible might just be things we haven’t discovered yet.

I love the generosity of this perspective. I'm enough of a film nerd to be annoyed with Nolan's excessive reliance on exposition and signposting every damn thing that happens in Tenet. The man has so little tolerance for mystery, which seems criminal when he's working with such rich material, full of mystical potential. But I kind of love it, too, because the film's compulsion to explain is inextricably linked to its compulsion to entertain — and I was counting on that compulsion all along.

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