Tenet • Member Bonus

Is this film the peak of Nolan delivering all plot and technique but light on characters? If so, why is it still so engaging to watch? And the big question – can you walk someone else through it after watching it? Tune in to this special member bonus episode to get answers to these questions and more!

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The story of the release of Christopher Nolan’s film Tenet will forever be marked by COVID and how the global pandemic affected movie releases through 2020 and beyond. When the film was finally released with distributors hoping to see that a big tentpole film just might be able to save movie theatres, the reception was more tepid than hoped for. Regardless, the time-bending tricks throughout the film are incredibly executed and the film delivers a complex, unique story. But does the Nolan-ness of the film hold it back from being great? Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we add to our Original Science Fiction series in this members’ only episode about Nolan’s 2020 film Tenet.

We talk about the complexities in the film and do our best to piece together the story. We look at the big picture and why perhaps this film is Nolan demonstrating the best and the worst of his filmmaking tendencies – an incredible technical achievement with a complex, intricate plot but one which drops all connections to emotion. We discuss John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Kenneth Branagh, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Capadia and more, looking at what they’re each bringing to the screen. We look at the Sator Square and the nature of palindromes, and how Nolan uses this idea to craft a story that’s moving both forward and backward at the same time. We touch on how this film is basically Nolan’s answer to a Bond film – fantastic globe-trotting, big set pieces, an over-the-top villain with a unique lair, the beauty torn between the protagonist and the antagonist. It’s all here. And we talk about how multiple viewings really help in this case.

We have a great time with this film, and certainly more fun talking about it. Check out the film, then maybe watch it again with the subtitles on, then tune in. The Next Reel – when the movie ends, our conversation begins!

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When the movie ends, our conversation begins.

This show is made possible by the generous support of our members. As one of our bonuses, the shows of The Next Reel provide these members-only episodes which augment our current series line-up. You can view the episodes here on our site, but if you’d like to listen, visit our membership page and join. Once you're logged in, you'll be able to listen to the episode right here on the page!