The more complicated and elaborate a movie tends to be, the more people become interested in how that movie is made. The Secrets of Tenet is a lush coffee-table style book crammed full of pictures and anecdotes from the movie itself.
This is a pretty straight forward movie insider book; with the only slight nod to the movie’s stylistic storytelling being that it has both a ‘foreword’ and a ‘backword’. Apart from that, it’s pretty much what you would expect. Nolan is a comprehensive movie maker so this book has been filled with notes, stories and pictures from the production.
Much like the movie itself though, there is little in terms of insight or revelation; this is a very sanitised ‘making of’ style book. You aren’t going to learn anything about the movie that isn’t obvious nor does this book give a particularly strong perspective on the production.
What is does very well though is work as source-material for fans of the movie. Everything from set design to location spotting and costume information is here. If you want to know who wore what, where and why then this for you. We get profiles of the characters, though these profiles are mostly of the finished product rather than development. Same goes for the storyboarding and stunt descriptions.
This is a book that looks at the finished movie and tells you about what went into making those scenes, rather than looking at the thinking behind the scenes in the first place. Mostly this is fine; this is a book for those who consider Christopher Nolan a genius and want to be reminded of his work, rather than those looking to learn more about his process. This book is an excellent choice for fans of the movie, and less exciting for those looking to learn more about big budget high-concept movie production