Cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema & Jenelle Riley on "Oppenheimer"

Nov 29, 2023

Oppenheimer (2023) cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema discusses the film in a post-screening conversation moderated by Jenelle Riley.

Brought to cinematic life by perhaps the only filmmaker who could turn the saga of J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Manhattan Project into a summer megahit, Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer managed to take Hollywood and audiences by surprise upon its release in July. An intense and hollowed out Cillian Murphy is Oppenheimer, the sun at the center of the film, while stars like Robert Downey Jr. (excellent as Lewis Strauss) and Emily Blunt (equally strong as Kitty Oppenheimer) attempt to enter his orbit as he punishes himself in pursuit of invention and then struggles to deal with the aftermath of his success. Photographed by longtime Nolan collaborator Hoyte van Hoytema, Nolan pushed the boundaries of practical filmmaking by creating nuclear explosions with very little digital assistance, and the result is a one-of-a-kind epic rendered on a human scale.