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The Film Comment Podcast: Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer

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Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster Oppenheimer, a biopic of J. Robert Oppenheimer, one of the key leaders of the Manhattan Project, has sold out movie theaters all over the country. With its three-hour runtime, notoriously large 70mm IMAX reels, and star-stuffed cast, it is nothing less than an epic. The film spans nearly four decades, from Oppenheimer’s days as a physics student in Europe, to his time teaching at UC Berkeley during World War II, to his days developing the atomic bomb at the Los Alamos Laboratory, and, subsequently, to the investigation into his possible communist ties during the McCarthy era. Amid all that plot is plenty of awe-inspiring spectacle and musings on the ethics of war and the perils of genius. 

On today’s episode, Film Comment Co-Deputy Editors Devika Girish and Clinton Krute are joined by Film at Lincoln Center programmer Madeline Whittle and critic Mark Asch for a discussion about Nolan’s opus. The group was evenly split between fans and skeptics, and the result was a lively conversation—which, of course, is what the movies are all about. 

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