Let’s be honest and say that yes, watching a movie on the big screen is a lot more fun and it’s definitely a different experience. But watching a movie on an iPhone or a tablet is just as much fun, and it can be a lot more comfortable. The reason behind this statement has a lot to do with Christopher Nolan’s supposed snobbery when it came to wanting his movie Tenet to debut in the theaters during the pandemic, but he does have a fairly good amount of reasoning behind this despite the fact that part of it was money-driven since the box office has been suffering during the last several months. But what’s really easy to understand with his desire to see Tenet in theaters is that this experience is something that people tend to enjoy a lot more since the darkened theater, the big, glowing screen that everyone’s attention is on, and the loud, over the top sounds that we get to hear while immersed in the movie are all a part of the experience that people love so much and come to associate with so many movies. Thanks to seeing a movie in the theaters, seeing it again on a smaller device is bound to bring up the same feeling and emotions even if the quality isn’t there, which is a part of what allows Nolan to think that it’s perfectly okay for people to see his movies on iPhones and tablets.
There are plenty of directors that manage to gain a bad reputation for being a little too full of themselves and believing that their work is beyond reproach, and it’s fair to say that Nolan has been lumped into this bunch over the years. But while some directors can be called a bit vain and a little too snobbish when it comes to their work, especially if said works aren’t that great, there are many that can back up the attitude they bring. In a way, a director is very much like any creator that’s ever existed since they don’t tend to like criticism all the time, they want things to go their way, and they get a bit uppity now and then when what they want isn’t possible or isn’t followed. Every director, even the most humble of them, will at times bristle at the mention that anything they’ve created isn’t going to be allowed to shine the way they want it to, but during a pandemic, it was a bit ridiculous to think that Tenet would get a theater release when so many other movies that were being equally anticipated were delayed and couldn’t even finish production due to the COVID-19 protocols that had been put into place. It did feel a bit snobbish and even elitist to think that Nolan would be allowed to push his idea of bringing Tenet to the theaters no matter that so many other movies were being forced to delay. If the only reason for this was due to the idea that Nolan wanted the audience to get that big-screen feeling before seeing his movie on the small screen, then it’s understandable, kind of. But it’s a bit doubtful that this was the only reason.
Movies are made to make money just as much as they’re made to tell a story, otherwise, things would be very different. Allowing oneself to be fooled into thinking that those that are making these movies are only interested in the storytelling process is up to each individual, but the truth is that directors are being paid for their efforts and there’s a reason that studios will seek government assistance in times such as these. It’s less about the story and more about the money it takes to keep people paid, since like it or not, Hollywood is a business, the entertainment industry runs on money, not superior stories and convincing plots. Nolan and the rest can enchant people with their stories and convince folks that they’re better off going to the theater to experience their movies firsthand before watching them on smaller devices, but the bottom line is that as much as Nolan and so many others want their works to be seen in all their glory, they also want to make certain that their reputation will continue to get them paid. For some reason, seeing a movie on a smaller surface makes a great amount of difference with some folks, but if the story is that great and the acting on par with what people expect, the size of the screen shouldn’t matter. Yes, it’s great to go to the movies and immerse yourself in the grander picture and enjoy the luxury of it, but if the story can’t take precedence over the venue, then the story isn’t as strong as the director thinks.