Real Nuclear Explosion and More to Look Out For!
Christopher Nolan, acclaimed director of “Inception” and “Interstellar”, is known for his signature narrative devices or “gimmicks” in his movies. Whether it’s the backward chronological order in “Memento” or the relativity of time in “Interstellar”, Nolan’s films tend to contain unique, time-related story mechanics. As fans eagerly await his new film “Oppenheimer”, one question is on everyone’s minds: what will be the gimmick this time?
The Nolan Twist
In almost every Nolan movie (excluding the Dark Knight Trilogy), there is a narrative gimmick. From “Memento’s” backward storytelling to “Inception’s” dream-within-a-dream concept, these unique story mechanics have become synonymous with Nolan’s directorial style. Fans are guessing what the special story trick will be in ‘Oppenheimer’.
Some have shared their theories on Reddit. One commenter suggests, “Parts of the movie is from Oppenheimer’s POV (subjective) and other parts are more objective, with each being in color and black & white respectively.” Another predicts, “Nonlinear storytelling. There will be two timelines cutting together in a complicated way, and you will have to put it together.”
Many fans agree that Nolan’s gimmicks often center around the concept of time. From the various perceptions of a single event in “Dunkirk” to the relativity of time in “Interstellar”, Nolan has consistently used time as a narrative tool in his movies.
So what could this mean for an upcoming biographical thriller about J. Robert Oppenheimer, an American theoretical physicist credited as the “father of the atomic bomb” for his role in the Manhattan Project.?
Pushing the Boundaries of Film Making
Christopher Nolan’s dedication to realism in his films is well known, and “Oppenheimer” will be no exception.
In an interview with Total Film, Nolan revealed that he recreated the Trinity test—the world’s first nuclear explosion—for the film without the use of computer graphics. “Recreating the Trinity test without the use of computer graphics was a huge challenge to take on,” Nolan told Total Film.
This dedication to practical effects and minimal CGI is a trademark of Nolan’s approach to filmmaking.
The Anticipation Builds
Pre-production for “Oppenheimer” started in January 2022, with filming beginning in late February 2022 and wrapping up in May. The film was shot in a combination of IMAX 65mm and 65mm large-format film—including, for the first time, sections in IMAX black-and-white analog photography.
The anticipation is high for this new Nolan film, set to be released in the United Kingdom and United States on July 21, 2023. Not only is it Nolan’s first film not to be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures since “Memento” (2000), but it’s also his first film to receive an R-rating since “Insomnia” (2002).
Given Nolan’s track record, one thing’s for certain: “Oppenheimer” will feature a unique narrative device that will keep viewers guessing until the very end. What that will be, however, remains to be seen. Until then, fans can only speculate and look forward to another mind-bending journey from one of cinema’s most innovative directors.