Christopher Nolan acknowledges “not everything is understandable” in Tenet


Christopher Nolan speaks out about confusing narrative in Tenet

Christopher Nolan is famous for making films that are difficult to understand because they play with space and time, twisting it and successfully confusing the audience. We have seen this in films like Memento (2000), Inception (2010), Interstellar (2014), or Tenet (2020), the most recent in this genre.

Among them, Tenet was one of the least applauded by the public and the critics, among other things because its narrative was too confusing. However, Christopher Nolan continues to defend the film to this day, although he admits that it can be difficult to understand.

“If you experience my film, you will understand it. I am completely convinced of that,” the filmmaker said in an interview for The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. “I believe that when people were frustrated with my storytelling in the past, sometimes I think they didn’t fully understand what I was trying to say.”

“It’s not a puzzle to be unraveled. It’s an experience to be lived, preferably in a movie theater, but also at home, hopefully all in one go.”

Christopher Nolan knows what happened with the top in Inception

“It’s an experience to be lived, that’s what it’s about, that’s what you have to feel,” added Christopher Nolan. “Everything else, if people are interested in talking about it or debating it more, if the ideas have an impact, that’s a plus. But, for me, it’s really all about the emotional experience of watching the film with the audience.”

“You don’t need to understand everything in Tenet. Not everything is understandable,” Christopher Nolan conceded. “It’s a bit like asking if I know what happens with the top at the end of Inception… I have to have an idea about it for it to be valid ambiguity, but the point is that it’s an ambiguity… The point is that the character doesn’t care if it falls or not.”

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