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Oppenheimer (Christopher Nolan)



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,360 ✭✭✭MfMan

    Martin Cruz Smith also wrote an earlier thriller called Stallion Gate which was set against the Manhattan Project. It posited the theory that the Jewish Oppenheimer might have been a communist sympathiser.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,853 ✭✭✭Brief_Lives

    There is a whooooole lotta stuff that might be in the movie after the manhattan project, the communist stuff especially...

    withdrawing his security clearance. and his interest in other parts of physics. family life.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,592 ✭✭✭✭McDermotX

    TBF......he was very much sympathetic with early communist ideals, but technically, never an admitted member of the American Communist Party, but very much a 'fellow traveller', as they conjectured back then. Far too off-track to go into, but his associations with the likes of Chevalier and Tatlock was very much used against him. Add in his brother's associations, admitting lying to army intelligence about an alleged attempt to funnel information to the Soviets regarding the development of the atomic program, plus good old fashioned political motivations, he was very much onto a losing case when Strauss and the like moved against him.

    Wouldn't imagine it'd be too difficult to write a story based around the part of his character, but the true story is almost a thriller in itself. Be interesting to see how much is made of it in the film, and considering the likes of Florence Pugh as Tatlock, Benny Safdie as Ed Teller are featured and judging from IMDB, Chevalier and Eltenton are also cast, it'll no doubt spend a lot of time on the more 'grey' aspects of the man.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,853 ✭✭✭Brief_Lives


    (and explained much better than my twee lines)

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,895 ✭✭✭✭Tony EH

    As far as I recall, a lot of the scientists who worked on Manhattan would have had broad Socialist sympathies, as opposed to "Communist" ones, in the shape of Stalinism anyway. I think Leo Szilard also was a Socialist.

    But, no doubt, the movie will go into the clashes that Oppenheimer had with the likes of Edward Teller, who always bore a grudge against Robert and sought to do him down in the 1950's. Teller, himself, became an outcast amongst the scientific community because of his pettiness towards his former Manhattan colleagues and his increasingly vocal support for bigger and more devastating nuclear weaponry and apparent disregard for human life in the result of a war with them. I believe he eventually became a proponent of the "winning nuclear war" fallacy.

    Teller later became a figure of satire too and was central to the psychopathic makeup of Dr. Strangelove in Kubrick's movie.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,592 ✭✭✭✭McDermotX

    Oh yes, very much more a 'humanistic' view on the socialist spectrum, and in essence, even members of the American Communist Party became very disillusioned with what they were hearing from the Soviet Union leading up to the war and beyond, not to mention Oppenheimer himself, and what the world came to know as 'Communism' was very much at odds with his core beliefs.

    In his early life, he strongly fell into workers rights, unions, donated to Spanish rebels fighting in Europe, led political debates among the scientific community along with other leading socialists, and, yes, ACP members. But the 'membership card-carrying security risk' that Strauss and such portrayed was very much a targeted character assassination. His powerful influence on the scientific fields and his concerns over the direction of the atomic world were marginalised, and its not even that long ago that the US Government finally overturned the findings of the commission and ruled it was a mistake to remove his security clearance, and posthumously apologised.

    Teller is an interesting one, following a belief at odds with Oppenheimer's urging towards a policy of openness with the rest of the world with regard to atomic weapons. Even the likes of Szilard's belief of the need for atomic weapons to end war was tempered by an understanding to ban production or urge leaders and the military towards a more surgical approach to atomic warfare with tactical nuclear weapons used as weapons of war as opposed to city-busting blunt force instruments with Teller and such striving towards thermonuclear development.

    What Oppenheimer, Bohr and various other scientists originally envisioned as a weapon which would end the war against the Nazis, which would in turn also lead to an end to all war. Adopting an open nature with other countries and sharing of knowledge would remove the fear of the technology and allow people to work together. Probably naive and showing some misunderstanding of the nature of humanity, which is part of a separate and much larger discussion, but then there are some that would argue that while we have lived under the threat of nuclear weapons, we haven't pushed the button. Yet.

    Edit - actually only back in Dec re: the overturning of the AEC

    Post edited by McDermotX on

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,639 ✭✭✭Mr Crispy

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,838 ✭✭✭✭silverharp

    A belief in gender identity involves a level of faith as there is nothing tangible to prove its existence which, as something divorced from the physical body, is similar to the idea of a soul. - Colette Colfer

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,696 ✭✭✭silliussoddius

    Would their communist sympathies have been more of the enemy of my enemy is my friend type thing towards the Nazis?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,853 ✭✭✭Brief_Lives

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  • Registered Users Posts: 96 ✭✭midnightblue

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,853 ✭✭✭Brief_Lives

    oh, thats very good

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,895 ✭✭✭✭Tony EH

    Their Communist (or rather Socialist) sympathies were more in line with what the principles of Marxist theory offered the ordinary man rather than sympathy with the likes of the USSR. Most people of that era who were gravitating toward Socialism did so because the ideas expressed within promised a different and better way of life for the majority, as opposed to the previous set ups that existed. It's why Socialism/Communism/Marxism became very popular throughout Europe during the 20's and 30's, especially with people of a certain social strata. People like Jews, for example, who had often been the target of traditional and casual "othering" for centuries. Europe was also very class based and if you were unfortunate enough to be born into a certain class, your life was a hell of a lot harder than it was for people born into more fortunate circumstances. Marx and his ideas offered a way out of that trap.

    It's hard for us now to understand why people would be drawn towards Marxist ideals during the early part of the 20th Century because, in comparison, we have things relatively good and the chance for social mobility is far more flexible now than it was back in the late 19th/early 20th Centuries. Previously, and until the end of WWII really, it didn't matter how smart you were or what you knew, you would have found yourself blocked off from opportunity simply on the basis of who you were. And while that certainly still happens today, it's nowhere near as bolted on as it was back then.

    Oppenheimer's own family moved from Prussia in the late 1800's. His parents experienced casual difficulties there because they were ethnic Jews, despite the fact that his father made a good name for himself in the rag trade, which was a traditional avenue of work for Jews at the time. They were secular, in that they didn't observe or practice, but they were still on the end of antisemitic attitudes that were part and parcel of Europe at the time. He and his wife moved to New York in 1888 and had Robert in early part of the 1900's. Right from the beginning of his life, his parents had instilled in him what could be broadly called called "Socialist" beliefs. He was sent to school at The Ethical Culture School, which had teachers like Lewis Hines, who was responsible for documenting the hardships and appalling conditions that the working classes of the period faced. He was also part of the movement that brought about US child labour laws in the 30's. It was people like Hines and Oppenheimer's father who instilled him with his "socialist" beliefs, although up until his 20's he was pretty much apolitical in practice.

    The trouble is, today, when people talk of Communism/Socialism/Marxism there's a tendency to think of Stalin and the dictatorial regime he helmed. Whereas, back in the early 20th Century, most people of a socialist bent were people who wanted to see the eradication of slums and institute rights for workers, etc. Oppenheimer, and indeed a lot of the intelligentsia of the period, would have been of that orientation rather than looking to the USSR as a model society or as something to be emulated. The 1920's and 30's marked a turbulent period where both working class people and intellectuals were viewing Communism as a way forward, especially in Europe, and with the rise of Fascism in Italy and Germany, their fervour only became more solidified. Oppenheimer during this time began to become more and more interested in politics and even gave money to organisations that were helping people to get out of Germany. But how "Communist" he actually was, whatever that is supposed to mean, remains a matter for debate. But, from what I've read of the man, I don't think he had any real amour for the USSR or Stalin and in his own words, considered himself more of a "fellow traveller" than any kind of party follower.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,838 ✭✭✭✭silverharp

    "reportedly" probably doing some heavy lifting here, anyhoo , I'd guess some change of release schedules likely

    A belief in gender identity involves a level of faith as there is nothing tangible to prove its existence which, as something divorced from the physical body, is similar to the idea of a soul. - Colette Colfer

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,696 ✭✭✭silliussoddius

    Sounds like a job for Ethan Hunt.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,853 ✭✭✭Brief_Lives

    as a film fool, i don't understand this.

    So, he has the power, or his film has the power to force the other movies to change release dates, or....... he's being nice and saying, you should move, we will destroy ye? or....... lets all make money.. change your date.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,178 ✭✭✭Spon Farmer

    I’ve never had the opportunity to see an IMAX movie. Changing ratios on Disney+ don’t interest me.

    I saw GRAVITY in China on a giant screen but it wasn’t IMAX.

    Never been pushed to experience it and just decided it will happen when it happens but I read part of an interview with Cillian Murphy and I think I will go out of my way to see this film in IMAX. I have been told that a lot of IMAX scenes and films are made IMAX in post but Murphy said the whole movie was filmed in IMAX (as best I understood it anyway).

    I know Cineworld has an IMAX screen and I can’t figure out which Odeon branches have it and while Googling saw a Reddit entry that claimed the only true IMAX screen is in Belfast.

    Can someone advise me as to what is BS and what is true and where are the IMAX screens here?


    Also Oppenheimer is getting an R rated release in the US - I assume this is becasue they are going to show the aftermath in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,895 ✭✭✭✭Tony EH

    IMAX doesn't matter a jot. You can go and see a film on a bog standard 1.85:1 or 2.35:1 screen and still be engrossed. What matters is the film and the story you're watching.

    Also, AFAIK, there are no real IMAX screens in Ireland, so don't get hung up on it.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 29,080 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate

    The nearest ‘true’ IMAX screen is the BFI one in London (or maybe one of the handful of smaller ones elsewhere in the UK). There are no proper ones in Ireland, north or south.

    What really matters here is whether the film is being shown digitally or on film. The latter is vastly preferable for Nolan films. In the past, Light House has tended to get 35mm prints of Nolan films, while IFI tends to get higher quality 70mm prints (they’re the only cinema in Ireland with a 70mm projector). The latter isn’t always available at release, but it was for both Dunkirk and Tenet. However, neither cinema has announced how they’ll be screening the film yet afaik. 35mm and especially 70mm I’d take over any digital format, including ‘premium’ ones.

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,306 ✭✭✭✭Drumpot

    Is the imax in cineworld not worth going to see this then?

    I heard about the proper imax cinemas and there was a part of me thinking of flying to England (Manchester or London from what I read) to see if the true imax experience was worth it.

    What exactly is the difference ?

    In relation to 35v70mm what’s the craic with that and how do you find out if iFi is even showing one or the other version?

    I’m really looking forward to this as Nolan movies are usually good to great and made for cinema. Like how exactly does one work out which is the best experience in Ireland for a movie like this?

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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 22,668 CMod ✭✭✭✭Sad Professor

    Cineworld's IMAX is fine and will probably offer a better experience than most places but is nothing really special either. 70mm IMAX is unique and worth experiencing at some point if you can as it won't be around for forever.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 29,080 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate

    So in terms of IMAX 70mm vs standard 70mm vs 35mm vs digital…

    In general, film vs digital is basically old-school analogue technology vs modern digital one. IMO film projection - 35mm and 70mm - has a very distinctive visual texture and colour to it. It’s ‘cinematic’ in the most traditional sense. Your mileage may vary, but for me it’s usually a night & day difference, and I love the particular texture of proper film projection. This film was shot on film, so seeing it projected on film will be closest to Nolan’s intention.

    How will you know if a cinema is showing it? They’ll almost certainly advertise the fact very prominently. 70mm is a big deal for the IFI so if they’re showing it in that format - still TBC - they’ll be shouting it from the rooftops. Ditto 35mm in Light House. They’re the only cinemas still screening in film formats in Ireland AFAIK so they will absolutely be shouting from the rooftops if they get film prints of it.

    35mm is standard film print quality - basically what everything was shown in til 15 years or so ago. 70mm is the next rung up in terms of fidelity - higher quality images due to superior film stock. It’s a niche tech and IFI is the only cinema in Ireland that has a 70mm projector.

    IMAX 70mm is basically an extra large format film format with ultra high fidelity and lots of space for the film to be projected in top quality on very big screens. Oppenheimer was entirely shot on IMAX cameras - big, clunky, difficult things. Only the best IMAX screens offer this format - like BFI IMAX and a particular one in Manchester. These screens are effectively massive multi-storey buildings with huge, towering screens. Is it a good experience? Absolutely! Is it worth flying to another country to just see one film? IMO probably not, but your finances may vary 😅 (if you were in London anyway, it’d absolutely be the way to watch)

    Most screens, premium or otherwise, will just be screening digital versions. Many won’t care, but again if there’s a film print around it’ll IMO be the way to watch over digital. Cineworld IMAX is just a decent quality digital screen - bigger and with better sound for sure, but quite expensive for what it is. Most other screens are a crapshoot - even with digital, places like Light House and IFI are the only ones with actual on-site full-time projectionists these days, and you can absolutely see the difference compared to most multiplexes.

    Post edited by johnny_ultimate on

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,306 ✭✭✭✭Drumpot

    Thanks very much , so lighthouse or IFI is what I will keep an eye on.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 29,080 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate

    Just an update / confirmation on this as tickets are now on sale.

    IFI is screening the film in 70mm from release day. See above as to why this is IMO the best way to watch it in Ireland (although it’s IFI screen one so make sure not to book seats too close to the front!)

    Alternatively, Light House is screening the film in 35mm - the more comfortable cinema, but the film quality won’t be quite as fancy as in IFI :)

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,178 ✭✭✭Spon Farmer

    I don’t remember getting a notification of your reply so sorry try for not acknowledging sooner.

    I don’t understand why you posted that first paragraph but thank you for confirming there is no IMAX here.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,178 ✭✭✭Spon Farmer


    I may actually be in London when this is out so I might try it at the BFI.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,895 ✭✭✭✭Tony EH

    No Problem Spon.

    The point of the first para is that what really matters is the quality of the film and not the aspect ratio it's shown at. Sure, a bigger screen can add to the effect. But a dull movie is still a dull movie even if it's being projected to the size of a block of flats.

    Personally, I've never given a toss about IMAX or 3D or any of that stuff. I'd happily just go and watch a good picture in a bog standard cinema.

    Jesus, a lot of my favourite films I first watched on a 4:3 CRT. It didn't really alter the experience that much.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,178 ✭✭✭Spon Farmer

    That first paragraph is something I agree with but when I replied to it I didn’t understand why you said it or the relevance but afterward I thought maybe you interpreted something in my original post that IMAX was the “only” to see this film. Or maybe the way I phrased it made it seem like that.

    IMAX is not not something I give much thought under than being annoyed that the default mode for Marvel movies on Disney+ is a changing aspect ratio during the film - but I already own most of them in iTunes and would just select the regular version anyway.

    I just figured if IMAX was the way Cillian Murphy was recommending that I might go out of my way to try it.

    I am surprised there is only one real IMAX screen in the U.K. and none here and that they’d bother mentioning it all in Irish and U.K. interviews.

    I assume that the film itself has the IMAX scenes adjusted for normal cinemas.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,895 ✭✭✭✭Tony EH

    I genuinely dislike that shifting AP nonsense. Shoot your damn film in a ratio and stick with it. I really have no time for movie shot in 2.35:1 which then, all of a sudden, moves to an IMAX ratio. Annoyed the hell out of me in 'Dunkirk' and that was a pretty harmless example. I mean I really couldn't care less about the director's "vision" in that respect. All of that is a lot of old blarney.

    Wes Anderson does that sometimes, where he'll shoot in 1.33, then 1.85 and the 2.35 in the same film. Drove me nuts when I went to see 'The Grand Budapest Hotel'.

    Bloody irritating if you ask me.

    As for IMAX, it's a bit of a gimmick. That's why it's trumpeted. See it in IMAX!!!! yet there's no real IMAX here.

    As I said though, if the film is any good, you won't care if it's in IMAX or not.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,178 ✭✭✭Spon Farmer

    Did it happen in the cinema release of Dunkirk or is this the digital/disc version?