Tenet's Cinematography

An original action espionage film releasing in IMAX on August 12, 2020
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Every new Nolan release, you lot come out and beg for Pfister again. Yeah he made Inception, and The Dark Knight. But he also made The Dark Knight Rises which was visually the most boring, drab, uninspired and lifeless camera work in Nolan's filmography. I love TDKR, but Pfister dropped the ball with the cinematography in that movie, especially coming off of Inception. It was one of my least favorite aspects of that movie.

I still haven't watched Tenet, but Interstellar and Dunkirk were beautifully shot. And the one common praise I've seen for Tenet is it's visuals, whether it's the action or pure cinematography. Until Hoyte gives us a cinematography stinker like TDKR, I'll take him over Wally any day of the week.

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im sorry but from a technical point of view, calling rises`s cinematography a stinker is absolutely ridiculous, for me its the best looking one of the three, its the most naturalistic one, and far more subtle than begins wich is the one i like the least of all Nolan films visually, there are so many good examples, i mean the plane heist sequence is incredible, the kangaroo court scenes are so tastefully done, the warm sodium vapor-ish tones of Daguett`s penthouse where Selina tries to kidnap him are delightful, theres also the visceral handheld that isnt overdone, Pfister is all about not overdoing it, much like Hoyte, but in a different tonal vein.

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Nicolaslabra wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 1:59 pm
im sorry but from a technical point of view, calling rises`s cinematography a stinker is absolutely ridiculous, for me its the best looking one of the three, its the most naturalistic one, and far more subtle than begins wich is the one i like the least of all Nolan films visually, there are so many good examples, i mean the plane heist sequence is incredible, the kangaroo court scenes are so tastefully done, the warm sodium vapor-ish tones of Daguett`s penthouse where Selina tries to kidnap him are delightful, theres also the visceral handheld that isnt overdone, Pfister is all about not overdoing it, much like Hoyte, but in a different tonal vein.
The prison pitt stuff in Rises is so well done...Maybe my faviorite section of the trilogy. I think, outside of following, Insomnia and Batman Begins feel the least inspired. Batman Begins gets crap for looking flat, I don't blame Nolan or Phister, they where dealing with studio oversight every step of the way. Fuck it, I'm gonna rank the cinematography in Nolan's films:

1. Dunkirk - this is all cinematography
2. Interstellar - Deakins says the beginning of this movie is some of the best stuff, I agree, also the space stuff is sublime, the tesseract stuff is sex.
3. Inception - the fact that the special effects are constructed to only work because of the placement and movement of the camera is why this movie won the oscar...also the movie looks so sexy...yummy..yummy
4. Dark Knight - Brutalist, and the wide shots are so wide
5. The prestige - This feels like his most lived in movie, the production design and the cinematography really sell period, but in a gritty, dirty way.
6. Tenet - Lets be honest kids, this has Nolan's best use of color, and might be his densist in terms of amount of stuff in the frame.
7. Dark Knight Rises - Pitt stuff is amazing. The shot in the dark of Bane toying with batman and then grab him is great. Plane hiest.
8. Memento - there are great shots in this movie...but formally quite conservative.
9. Batman Begins - edited within an inch of its life...still has dope shots: personal fav of mine, when batman flies out of the train...he find of floats out, iconic batman, and his eyes flash (catch some light) on his way out.
10. Insomina - The fog chase is great...also the long shot of Pacino and Williams talking is amazing.
11. Following - The first instance of character disappearing into crowd.

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I didn't like the industrial look and sound of TDKR on Blu-ray (not a fan of Zimmer's Bane theme, which sadly complements the look of the BD). Trailer #2 has my favorite color scheme, and the UHD (which I believe is the theatrical timing) as a favorable color scheme to the BD.

But nothing is worse than the TDK Blu-ray, which also has a favorable UHD and really awesome comic-y look in Trailer #2, but I would not have preferred that for the movie itself.

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I think personally some of the issues of Tenet's cinematography is alot of the film takes place in kinda drab, dare I say boring looking locations. Outside of Amalfi, Italy, alot of the film is in shipping containers, industrial parks, warehouse etc. No offense to the city of Tallin, but your highway isn't very scenic. The opening opera is not a very lavish building but very utilitarian.

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radewart wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 3:26 pm
I think personally some of the issues of Tenet's cinematography is alot of the film takes place in kinda drab, dare I say boring looking locations. Outside of Amalfi, Italy, alot of the film is in shipping containers, industrial parks, warehouse etc. No offense to the city of Tallin, but your highway isn't very scenic. The opening opera is not a very lavish building but very utilitarian.
Exactly, and it's one thing to shoot in industrial yards, post-soviet cities and brutalist buildings and expand the color palette through costume, lighting, filters, etc, but they didn't. The harsh locations and visuals give Tenet a wonderful chilliness and oppressive tone, but at the expense of sheer visual beauty. Not to say there aren't plenty of phenomenal shots, because there are.

I am of the opinion Wally could've found a better balance.

PS, I'm going in 15/70mm today, so maybe the color and images will play better there than in Xenon.


-Vader

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radewart wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 3:26 pm
I think personally some of the issues of Tenet's cinematography is alot of the film takes place in kinda drab, dare I say boring looking locations. Outside of Amalfi, Italy, alot of the film is in shipping containers, industrial parks, warehouse etc. No offense to the city of Tallin, but your highway isn't very scenic. The opening opera is not a very lavish building but very utilitarian.
I agree. I was disappointed with the scenery shots in Tenet. It just didnt highlight the beauty of the different countries they were in.

The Estonia highway really looked like a generic city. But I think Nolan choose Estonia because of its relatively cheap costs and the fact that the location isn't commonly used by Hollywood.

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Vader182 wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 3:34 pm
radewart wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 3:26 pm
I think personally some of the issues of Tenet's cinematography is alot of the film takes place in kinda drab, dare I say boring looking locations. Outside of Amalfi, Italy, alot of the film is in shipping containers, industrial parks, warehouse etc. No offense to the city of Tallin, but your highway isn't very scenic. The opening opera is not a very lavish building but very utilitarian.
Exactly, and it's one thing to shoot in industrial yards, post-soviet cities and brutalist buildings and expand the color palette through costume, lighting, filters, etc, but they didn't. The harsh locations and visuals give Tenet a wonderful chilliness and oppressive tone, but at the expense of sheer visual beauty. Not to say there aren't plenty of phenomenal shots, because there are.

I am of the opinion Wally could've found a better balance.

PS, I'm going in 15/70mm today, so maybe the color and images will play better there than in Xenon.


-Vader
radewart wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 3:26 pm
I think personally some of the issues of Tenet's cinematography is alot of the film takes place in kinda drab, dare I say boring looking locations. Outside of Amalfi, Italy, alot of the film is in shipping containers, industrial parks, warehouse etc. No offense to the city of Tallin, but your highway isn't very scenic. The opening opera is not a very lavish building but very utilitarian.
Vader182 wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 3:34 pm
radewart wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 3:26 pm
I think personally some of the issues of Tenet's cinematography is alot of the film takes place in kinda drab, dare I say boring looking locations. Outside of Amalfi, Italy, alot of the film is in shipping containers, industrial parks, warehouse etc. No offense to the city of Tallin, but your highway isn't very scenic. The opening opera is not a very lavish building but very utilitarian.
Exactly, and it's one thing to shoot in industrial yards, post-soviet cities and brutalist buildings and expand the color palette through costume, lighting, filters, etc, but they didn't. The harsh locations and visuals give Tenet a wonderful chilliness and oppressive tone, but at the expense of sheer visual beauty. Not to say there aren't plenty of phenomenal shots, because there are.

I am of the opinion Wally could've found a better balance.

PS, I'm going in 15/70mm today, so maybe the color and images will play better there than in Xenon.


-Vader
I've seen the thing twice. This movie, along side with Dunkirk are probably Nolan's most textured movies. He doesn't digitally grade his movies, and uses natural light, this is why his movies look the way they do. It is in complete contrast to the color grading of most modern movies. This is why his movies have such high resolution and have noticeable texture to them. Digital grading causes compression. I don't see how Pfister would have done better...this movie looks like a Nolan movie.

It doesn't look drab to me...in fact his colors look rich, and subtle. His movies have a sort of painted look, where warms and cools interact nicely, and the colors don't dominate each other. Also though, this movie has nice yellow accents throughout:
the clock the torturer has, the boat going backwards, the whole scene when they are moving through the crashed plane.
The blue/red room alone is the most saturated Nolan has ever been.
Also, the ending with RP,JDW, and ATJ has such a nice almost Vermillion hue to it, it stands out and looks really good.
Can someone point to a Nolan movie that doesn't look like Tenet? Like his movies look pretty similar across the board.

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The man needs to do a Christmas movie fosho lol

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Nicolaslabra wrote:
September 13th, 2020, 1:59 pm
im sorry but from a technical point of view, calling rises`s cinematography a stinker is absolutely ridiculous, for me its the best looking one of the three, its the most naturalistic one, and far more subtle than begins wich is the one i like the least of all Nolan films visually, there are so many good examples, i mean the plane heist sequence is incredible, the kangaroo court scenes are so tastefully done, the warm sodium vapor-ish tones of Daguett`s penthouse where Selina tries to kidnap him are delightful, theres also the visceral handheld that isnt overdone, Pfister is all about not overdoing it, much like Hoyte, but in a different tonal vein.
I don't think it's ridiculous at all. Both Begins and TDK were nominated for Best Cinematography, TDKR was not ,and shouldn't have. There was nothing really special about the way TDKR was visually. Batman Begin's notorious beige/gold atmosphere is iconic, and made that movie so distinct. I love the Blade Runner inspired style it was going for. TDK was visually outstanding, and had a blue color palette for the most part that really made it immersive.

The color scheme in TDKR was all over the place and messy. The way the camera movies in that movie was very static and disappointing, especially coming off of TDK and Inception. The movie just didn't have the visual flair when compared to the first 2 movies of the trilogy. And the lack of recognition during the Academy Awards was deserved.

Once again, I love TDKR. I'm a great defender of that film. But that part of the movie still disappoints me to this day.

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