If you see Hobbs & Shaw this weekend you are going to get a cryptic preview of Christopher Nolan’s espionage thriller, Tenet — otherwise known as TENƎ⊥, because it all about turning things upside down, maaaaaaan. Subverting expectations, if you will.

The 40-second teaser has not yet hit the web, nor is there any information on whether it will soon, so here is a brief rundown of what you will see:

It opens on a bullet hole that’s punched through some glass. That is John David Washington’s character.

Washington’s character walks up to examine the glass.
The camera tracks him as he moves to the side, revealing more cracks in the glass

Washington’s character looks to be trapped in some kind of cell
A tactical team in black gear running toward the camera
Washington’s character punching someone repeatedly
Tactical guys hauling Washington’s character
Holds on a shot of Washington. The mask fogs as he breathes. A distorted voice can be heard: “Hello?”
Big brain title treatment


What Does It All Mean?

I have no idea. Based on the title and the espionage genre I thought it was going to be about how this guy got us into a war in the Middle East:

But now I don’t know. Here are some clues:

Perfunctory Hack-posting Definition


  1. a principle or belief, especially one of the main principles of a religion or philosophy.

Nolan’s Filmography

Half of his movies are reality-bending, science-fiction movies: Memento, The Prestige, InceptionInterstellar.

One could say reality is a tenet and that Nolan likes messing with your belief in it.

This Set Video

Here is real evidence:

I guess it could be some kind of technical process to capture the right shot or possibly a dream sequence, but it’s not.

Do you know how I know? The upside-down letters.

Come on! What is the first thing you think about when you see that?

So It’s Pretty Clear

That footage has me looking at Washington’s oxygen mask in a very different light. It reminds me of one of my favorite movies, in which they also needed oxygen masks:

Primer: one of the best indie movies, and maybe the best time-travel movie, of all time

No Scorsese. Only Nolan Now.

Regardless of the subject, I’m looking forward to TENƎ⊥ more than any other movie — by a factor of ten. Nolan is not just my favorite living working director, he is the greatest living director: he’s made nine studio pictures and seven of them are rated over 8.0 in the IMDb, with Dunkirk floating between 7.9 and 8.0.

This is the highest percentage of great movies in any director’s filmography; higher than Kubrick, higher than Tarantino, way higher than Scorsese or Spielberg.

Additionally, his movies make money, which means a lot of people see them.

Finally, he both writes and directs his films, which Kubrick and Scorsese never did. 

Plus this journassary seems to dislike him:

Fuck you and your wife’s son, Scott Meddlesome. 

TENƎ⊥ opens on August 17th, 2020.