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Saturday, August 15, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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‘Tenet’ postponement means bye-bye summer season

Dan Webster

Like every other movie fan, I've been waiting for word on when — or even if — movie theaters are going to reopen. And when/if they do, what the experience is going to look like.

Well, one thing is certain: We aren't going to be seeing "Tenet," Christopher Nolan's latest film that many observers pegged as the single moviegoing experience that stood a chance at saving the summer-movie season.

On Monday, Warner Bros. officially removed "Tenet" from its release calendar. Originally scheduled to debut on July 17, the film was postponed until first July 31 and then Aug. 12. The new expected date will be announced, um, “imminently.”

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been disastrous to much of the world, from those people who have suffered devastating illnesses (and subsequent deaths) to sectors of the economy that, in some cases, may never recover. And the movie business has had it own problems.

In an essay for Time magazine, writer Eliana Dockterman addresses the effect on the move industry and its future. Among her points, not all of which are negative, is a rebuttal to the notion that "Tenet," or any single movie release, will be the savior the industry needs.

"It is tempting in these dreary times to pin our hopes on a single solution to an intractable problem: one leader who might save us; one vaccine that might inoculate us; one day when suddenly everything will be back to normal," Dockterman wrote."In reality, the return to normalcy will be slow and halting."

"Even once a vaccine becomes available," she continued, "not everyone will receive it at once; we will return to our offices, our friends’ homes and, yes, movie theaters in small groups, then larger ones. Appealing as it was to cling to a symbol of resilience and the shared, communal experiences we yearn for, it was never that simple."

And, yes, though Dockterman is wring about movies, her words carry a larger meaning — applying as they do to the whole of life in the United States of 2020. 

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