Why this Canadian is watching Christopher Nolan’s Tenet 120 times in theaters

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The first time Craig Sharpe saw the time-consuming blockbuster Principe in theaters, he admits he was “totally confused”. But now that he’s seen it 19 times, he has a pretty good grasp of the plot.“I’ve had a clear idea of ​​this movie from the fifth time around,” the Winnipeg man said. As it happens guest host Helen Mann. “And now I just enjoy it. “

Sharpe is trying to earn his place in the record books by watching Christopher Nolan’s latest film 120 times before its release on streaming services and DVD. To accomplish this, he attended several Cineplex screenings each day for six consecutive weeks.

Its goal is to break the Guinness World Record for most of the film productions attended for the same film. The current record belongs to Australian Joanne Connor, who saw Rhapsodie bohémienne 108 times in 2019.

Films during the COVID-19 era

Principe was originally slated for a July 17 release, but has been postponed several times due to global COVID-19 restrictions.

Filmmaker Christopher Nolan declined to switch to an online film release during the pandemic, insisting his visual effects heavy film was meant to be seen on the big screen and theaters needed a bang of financial thumb.

Still, many moviegoers have been worried about returning to theaters since they started reopening with security measures in place.

“It’s a long period of time to keep in a confined space,” Dr. Tasleem Nimjee, a Toronto emergency doctor, told CBC News.

“Movies can be emotional. People can cry. People can laugh. So you add the risk of maybe spilling some of it [coronavirus] droplets. “

This image released by Warner Bros. Entertainment shows Elizabeth Debicki, left, and John David Washington in a scene from Tenet. (Associated Press / Melinda Sue Gordon / Warner Bros. Entertainment)

The risks are not lost on Sharpe. He says he keeps his distance from other clients, wears a new mask at each screening and applies hand sanitizer every 20 minutes.

“At first, I was afraid to go back to the movies and all that,” he says. “When I got there and saw the measurements and the ones that have been taken, I just had complete confidence in where I am going.”

Movies as personal care

For Sharpe, it’s also about taking care of his mental health. He suffers from depression and anxiety, and watching a movie – especially the one he loves – helps him decompress.

“I can forget what is causing my anxiety and depression to help calm me down, because my mind is paying attention to the movie I’m watching,” he says.

“And then when the movie is over, it resets me where I can go back to what I was doing. ”

It’s especially useful right now, he says.

“During this pandemic, it’s something that I can look forward to and be happy with and not have to worry about, you know, what’s going on in the world. “

An employee helps a person buy a ticket inside the Odeon Luxe Leicester Square cinema on the opening day of the film Tenet in London, UK (Henry Nicholls / Reuters)

He estimates he will spend $ 1,400 on movie tickets to reach his goal, and he funds the crowdfunding to cover the costs.

Sharpe says he will donate any extra money to 1JustCity, a Winnipeg charity that helps people living with poverty and mental illness have access to clean clothes, food, showers, haircuts hair and more.

“They also helped me overcome problems with general depression so that I could re-enter the workforce,” Sharpe said. “It’s just the way I give back. “

Support from family, friends and cinema staff

Sharpe says his wife, friends and family have all been incredibly supportive. He also has his local Cineplex management behind him.

“They have a bit of a laugh filling out the Guinness witness statement forms,” he said. “They are really happy and encourage me too. ”

One person he hasn’t heard of is Nolan himself. He’s been a big fan of the filmmaker ever since Moment came out 20 years ago.

“Honestly, I would probably stumble if I actually made contact with him in any way. But it would be an honor, ”he said.

“I would just like to thank him for his fight to get this film out in theaters. I know how adamant he is about the cinema experience. I am the same way. “


Written by Sheena Goodyear. Interview conducted by Katie Geleff.

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