Film title placement

An original action espionage film releasing in IMAX on August 12, 2020
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It's no secret that Nolan's film titles seem to be placed at a certain time that goes with the film itself.

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Following - At the beginning, as The Young Man begins straight with the act over his explanation of his shadowing techniques to inspire his writing.

Memento - The "end" photo of a murdered Teddy occurring right at the forefront, something for him to remember that event by as well as Leonard's other photos and tattoos that have concocted the lie that is his new life.

Insomnia - Also occurring right at the beginning, during the title credits and as Will wakes up and will stay awake for the rest of the movie till his death when he can finally "sleep."

Batman Begins - By the end of the movie, he is finally enshrined with the symbol that Gotham will now know him by. He has his floodlight, partners in crime with Gordon/Fox/Alfred, and he has honed his craft ready to take down his foes and the criminal underworld. Roll credits with the title.

The Prestige - Right at the beginning of the film we are looking right at it, the third act of the trick. "Are you watching closely?" The trick is right there in front of us, and is used by both Borden and Angier (in far different ways and with far different biological/chemical underpinnings) which really makes more sense the second time you see the film.

The Dark Knight - Not much to say here, as Gordon's monologue does it for us. Cue the title at the end of the film, right after the now commissioner says: "He is a silent guardian, a watchful protector... a dark knight."

Inception - Also placed at the end. The whole film is an inception on the audience, blah blah blah we've heard it before. Maybe even Cobb was incepted to let go and live his life with his kids, dream or otherwise (the dude is awake, but that's for a different debate and thread).

The Dark Knight Rises - Whether we're talking about the rising platform as John Blake will now take up the mantle, or we see Bruce end his past life to start a new with Selina, meddling well with the "rise" motif all about (and even spoken by Bane with "The fire rises" and Gordon with "This evil rises"), it's essentially important to let those bits play out before we see the title state what it wanted to state.

Interstellar - Interestingly placed at the beginning, but with the bookcase shot beautifully by Nolan's new D.O.P., Hoyte Van Hoytema. This will come back later when Cooper is in the tesseract as Murph's ghost after his bout with interstellar travel.

Dunkirk - Not much to say on this one. This could have been placed at the end without problem really, but with the harrowing opening score and narrative lines to read while they're still on the beaches and not back in England, it was best to let audiences know: "This is where we're at, and this is what we're doing. Strap in."

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So now we have Tenet. How do you feel about its title placement?

Different from any of the others in that it's not right at the beginning and shows with a film image already on screen.

I guess since that literally feels like a prologue this time and everything in the "afterlife" is when he is now a part of the organization, that makes it work well where it's at. Most of the film has a palindromic feel at that point as well (sort of), so if that's opening up the palindrome then that works... not a great argument there on my end but oh well.

I kind of liked where it was though because if it came before the opera scene, we might be asking ourselves questions about its name still instead of: "Oh shit, here we go." I like that there are a lot of parts early on in the film where Nolan restrained himself from too much time inversion stuff. It's once in the prologue, some inversion exposition with Barbara, we get the hallway fight like a half hour later, and we don't see anything inverted again until Neil's "It's not Estonian, it's backwards" line. So we're not too stuck on that in the beginning, and we let the action Nolan wants to show us take its form.

Could have it worked at the end, though? The whole movie in itself is a temporal pincer, so there is that. Does it take away from seeing Christopher Nolan's name afterward, or does it add to it? Would removing it from where it is not properly separate Protag's supposed death and give us passage of time (like the hypothermic hibernation bit failed to do IMO)?
Curious to hear your thoughts. One thing for sure: I'm glad that Nolan still seemingly cares about where his title is placed, and why he does it.

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It was interesting and weird at the same time.

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Its also at the end of the credits...


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True. Do all of his films do that?

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i think nolan's WB movies all do

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The title shows up in Dunkirk 3 times.

Once after the logos, once after the main-on-end titles, and at the very end before the logos.

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I actually really dug the title of Tenet showed up with a film image or two. It was basically as if Nolan was like, aight lets get this out of the way real quick lol

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Tarssauce wrote:
October 12th, 2020, 2:28 pm
The title shows up in Dunkirk 3 times.

Once after the logos, once after the main-on-end titles, and at the very end before the logos.
If I remember correctly - Tenet had one title after Prologue sequence, then after the final scene, and once more after the end credits. So, 3 in total as in Dunkirk.

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On an aesthetic level, I love Interstellar's beautiful film title placement and I'm OK with TENET's.

That being said, it surprises me that Mr. Nolan is OK with them because if you look at his filmmaking philosophy, he hates deleted scenes, post-credits scenes, opening credits, commentary tracks, etc.

So you would figure that he would include the film title appearing on the screen after the movie has already started under that category, but I guess not.

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