Categories
"Making of"

Book Review: The Secrets of Tenet – Inside Christopher Nolan’s Quantum Cold War

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Publisher: Insight Editions

Release Date: September 15, 2020

It must be said that The Secrets of Tenet – Inside Christopher Nolan’s Quantum Cold War took me by surprise. Most books of this sort tend to offer a somewhat superficial glimpse at a films production while relying on an excess of photographs to pad the sparse information provided. At best, one can call these attractive coffee table books “collector’s items,” but they are all gloss without any substance.

At first glance, James Mottram’s examination of Christopher Nolan’s Tenet seems as if it might follow this same pattern. After all, the book offers an incredibly rich assortment of photographs and is only 156 pages long. However, there is actually a rather interesting textual examination of the film’s production, and the “behind the scenes” photographs are hardly superfluous. They offer a revelatory look at the process and will certainly please Nolan’s many devotees. It’s a pleasure to scroll through the book’s pages.

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Those fortunate enough to own Mottram’s earlier examination of The Making of Dunkirk will have some idea as to what they can expect with this volume. It earns an easy recommendation for fans of the film and for anyone who admires Nolan’s work.

Categories
"Making of" Filmmakers

Book Review: The Making of Dunkirk

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Publisher: Insight Editions

Release Date: July 18, 2017

The Making of Dunkirk” tells the incredible story of how Christopher Nolan (Memento, The Dark Knight Trilogy) brought a historical moment in World War II to life on the screen using innovative film-making techniques that give the film a gritty, exhilarating realism rarely seen in modern cinema. Those who haven’t seen the film itself should correct their oversight soon. It tells the story of the evacuation of British troops from Dunkirk, France, in a daring endeavor that saved them from certain defeat at the hands of enemy forces. Featuring a stunning ensemble cast that includes newcomers Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, and Harry Styles, as well as acclaimed actors Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance, Cillian Murphy, and Tom Hardy, Dunkirk offers a breathtaking glimpse at a turning point in the conflict determined by not only the ingenuity of the British forces but also the bravery of British civilians who sailed into war-torn waters to save them. The film has already received an incredible amount of box office and critical success—earning 3 Golden Globe Nominations (Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Score) and 8 Academy Awards Nominations (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, Best Sound Editing, and Best Sound Mixing).

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James Mottram’s coffee table account of the creation of Dunkirk gives a surprisingly comprehensive account of production. Interviews with the director and key department heads give the text a more authentic resonance and offers the reader first-hand accounts of the film’s creation. Of course, the information is richly illustrated with never-before-seen imagery from the shoot, concept art, storyboards, and other documentation. The accumulative effect is both enjoyable and informative, and the book is essential reading for fans of the film or for anyone who admires the director.