When Christopher Nolan makes a movie, we show up. That's sort of the rule when it comes to his films. Tenet got screwed by COVID, but people still had a desire to see one of the greatest directors challenge himself and the limits of filmmaking.
Now, Nolan is back to help reinvigorate cinema. His newest film, Oppenheimer, comes out in July 2023 and is set to help the box office recover after two brutal COVID years.
Nolan is once again challenging himself and the format he loves, shooting in black and white, color, and even asking IMAX to work with him and Kodak to deliver a new kind of film that helped him create his vision.
Nolan spoke with Total Film about the process, saying, "I very much loved the structural assistance and the aesthetic charge of shifting between color and black and white that I had on Memento. I’d always been looking for a reason to go back to that. And in the case of Oppenheimer and the way in which we tell this story, it’s very subjectively [told], but also with a more objective story strand that intertwines with that. It was really the perfect time to go back to that device that I loved so much."
So how did he tell the story? Nolan employed a few cameras.
They used the IMAX MKIII, Panavision Sphero 65 and Hasselblad Lenses IMAX MKIV, Panavision Sphero 65 and Hasselblad Lenses IMAX MSM 9802, Panavision Sphero 65 and Hasselblad Lenses Panavision Panaflex System 65 Studio, and finally, Panavision System 65 Lenses to get things on the screen.
When it came to the film in each camera, some had to be invested to get the look and feel Nolan wanted.
He said, "So we challenged the people at Kodak photochem to make this work for us. And they stepped up. For the first time ever, we were able to shoot IMAX film in black and white. And the results were thrilling and extraordinary. As soon as Hoyte [van Hoytema] and I saw the first tests come in, we just knew that this was a format that we were immediately in love with."(opens in new tab
I mean, how can you not be enthusiastic about a director who is trying to keep the sacred right of movie-going alive by pushing the medium as far as it can go?
Oppenheimer opens in cinemas on July 21, 2023.
I hope to see you all there. Let us know what you think in the comments.