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SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


In more ways than one!

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SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


Sorry to raise the thread, but I gotta point this out:

RCarr posted:

I’m pretty sure no one involved in making the movie knows what was supposed to be happening in that scene or most of the movie for that matter.

Right before the guy fights himself, they show a close-up of the bullet holes. The glass is still cracking, and little shards are falling down. The window is normal.

When he picks up the gun, the window is suddenly ‘inverted’: the cracks shrink, the shards fall up, and the holes eventually vanish.

This means that the glass spontaneously destroyed itself before the characters entered the room, in order to maintain continuity with the characters’ later decision to ‘heal’ the glass.

Tenet’s characters therefore have the ability to transmute concrete into bullets through sheer concentration. Although they never take advantage of this, it’s an ‘infinite ammo’ cheat. They are James-Bond-themed wizards.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


Shaocaholica posted:

Ok and the Indian lady what's her deal? I don't recall them explaining why/how she knows the things she knows or her motivations. Also the way they meet seems so coincidental. Some bullets at the lab were made with metals that probably come from a region of India therefore this specific arms dealer must be a key character in this convoluted time travel plot? That gets settled with no exposition in like 2 cuts.

The film’s gimmick, combined with unreliable expository dialogue, means it is quite impossible to discern the characters’ motivations - so you can basically imagine whatever you’d like.

In this specific case, Priya is said to have been an agent of Tenet from the beginning.

SuperMechagodzilla fucked around with this message at 05:22 on Apr 30, 2021

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


Zaphod42 posted:

The Indian Lady is hired by the Protagonist when he's inverted in the future, so its like she's a proxy so the Protagonist can tell his past self what to do.

Re-watching the film, I think its almost an intentional red-herring. They go to the arms dealer lady because that's where the bullets come from. But that doesn't really matter in the end. What matters is that they went to her, so then later on he knows he'll go to her, so then he goes back in time and talks to her before he meets her for the first time, and tells her what to do. But because of the way time is consistent, that means the first time he meets her she was already working for him...

Same with Neil.

Right; that's basically what's explained. However, the reveal that she's an agent of Tenet implies that she has access to a time machine and information from the future, plus the secondary reveal that she's either a "traitor" to Tenet (by attempting to kill Kat against the current leader's past orders) or its truest adherent (by attempting to 'preserve the timeline' according to the past leader's current orders) means all bets are off as to what her actual deal is.

This is where we get to the actual point of the movie: the entire conflict between the 'closed loopers' and the 'alternate universers' is a bunch of chaff, as the only thing that matters is the Protagonist's gradual realization that he controls the universe with magic and can therefore do whatever he wants. Does saving Kat from Priya change the future-past, or not? Is all that stuff about an algorithm that reverses the planet's entropy true, or a lie that he told himself in order to ensure that climate change happens? Nobody ultimately gives a poo poo.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


When you fire a handgun, the recoil is what pushes the slide back and ejects the casing. The recoil is generated by the explosion of the gunpowder inside the casing.

The film would tell us that, "from the gun's perspective", the gun is actually catching the bullet that's launched from the wall. But, in order for that to happen, the gun must first 'see' a spontaneous implosion of the gas inside the cartridge. And, before that, the gun must 'see' the slide spontaneously pull back to accept the cartridge leaping into it (which could only happen if it 'sees' the spring spontaneously contract, etc.). The smoke condenses into gunpowder, the trigger pushes Protag's finger forwards, and he ultimately "undecides" to release the trigger and put the gun down. A good chunk of the universe is inverting 'around' the bullet.

So, there are two conclusions here:

1) There is no clear line between inverted and uninverted objects, and the entire concept of 'being' inverted could be seen as an illusion produced by time distortion. If you're inverted and I kick you in the balls, your body will partially uninvert to match my kick.

2) There are two points where the protagonist makes the decision to fire the gun: he makes one decision before he "pulls the trigger" on the gun, and makes a second inverted decision after he unpulls the trigger on the gun (possibly around the point where the technician teaches him how to 'instinctively' unintend things). These two decisions are separated in time, but could be said to occur simultaneously.

This is where the film starts to fall apart, because the decision to "pick up the gun" is arguably the technician's, as she is actually making an inverse decision to trick him into putting the gun down - but she also retains the ability to speak forwards. So basically anything in the movie could be - and probably is - partly inverted and uninverted simultaneously..

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


Shaocaholica posted:

Yeah its weird with people objects with opposite states interact with each other.

You can reconcile it, but it simply breaks the movie.

If catching an “inverted” bullet in a “normal” gun causes the gun (and everything causally related to it) to also invert, then - taking things to a logical conclusion - anyone with an awareness of inversion can invert just about anything they want by merely “thinking backwardsly”.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


gregday posted:

So, the Protagonist stopping Sator’s inverted SUV by pressing his hand on the brake. That’s a legit plot hole right? The SUV us to have been inverted, since it unbroke the BMW’s mirror. But then from its perspective, how did it get started moving? It began moving down the highway when the protagonist took his hand off the brake?

As gone over earlier, there isn’t any actual distinction between inverted and uninverted objects. Parts of the SUV may be going forward in time while other parts are going backwards. It’s the same as asking how the mirror broke, or how an inverted bullet can be fired from a normal gun.

The best we can say is that the SUV is inverted while Sator and his driver are in control of it (while thinking backwardsly), and then it ceases to be inverted when Protag is in control.

We see the same with the silver car. It seems to start out normal, but then crashes invertedly. Sator subsequently (un)burns the (possibly now inverted?) gasoline with his inverted lighter, creating normal fire that freezes the still-inverted car / Protag.

SuperMechagodzilla fucked around with this message at 03:04 on May 1, 2021

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


gregday posted:

The silver car started out inverted. That’s why when the protagonist gets in and begins driving the dust the tires kick is going backwards. There’s a segment on the DVD BTS footage that explains how they did this effect to show the Saab was inverted the entire time.

If the dust is going backwards from an inverted perspective, then it’s just going forwards. Protag is driving a normal car in reverse.

An inverted car seen from an inverted perspective would just appear normal, which ironically wouldn’t have required a special effect.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


gregday posted:

I don’t know why you think a normal car can just become inverted mid scene for the backwards crash. This movie has paradoxical plot holes but that ain’t one of them.

It happens all the time in the movie, as with the normal gun that briefly becomes inverted while interacting with an inverted bullet.

A clearer (and stranger) example is the stab wound on Protag’s arm being uninverted and going forwards in time normally even though the rest of him is inverted.

The easiest way to explain it is that the level of invertedness in an object is determined by the will of the individuals. If you’ve seen Zack Snyder’s Justice League, everybody in Tenet has roughly the same bullshit time powers as The Flash, minus the super-speed.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


Grandpa Palpatine posted:

As always, it's best to just ignore SMG. He exists to make connections that aren't really there and to wear down your spirit in CD threads.

If I were wrong, then things like Protag hitting the brake wouldn’t work.

We have some very obvious examples of things being uninverted in the middle of the scene, like the bullet holes in the window. Nolan even provides a big ‘ol close-up of the window behaving incorrectly.

They handwave this with the “winds of entropy” stuff, but examining what that actually means reveals that the film’s scenario is much weirder than any of the exposition says. And half of the exposition is lies anyways.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


Megaman's Jockstrap posted:

I really like Tenet but it's just a fact that it doesn't (and perhaps couldn't) follow its own rules consistently. I really like the movie but this is extremely fair criticism of it. It's a clockwork timepiece that occasionally shudders and gives you the wrong time, but at least to me nobody has every attempted to make such a wack rear end premise work. I appreciate the design even if the gears seize up sometimes.

Concluding that it's just flawed is a bit too easy of an 'out', though. The actual trick is to understand what is going on.

At certain points, things like inverted bullets would have had to spontaneously materialize - but this is not exactly a 'plot hole' because it closely matches the functioning of the "turnstiles". From certain perspectives, objects entering them also seem to appear or disappear.

So we once again have little need for the turnstiles, except for creating duplicates: if people can invert any object purely by thinking backwardsly, they can also cancel that effect by having priorly thought forwardsly. In doing so, this can (and seemingly does) cause objects to appear "out of thin air".

In the inverted bullet demonstration, the bullet does not exist in the wall at the beginning because Protag doesn't yet understand that it will have existed. From the perspective of the bullet, though, it's just bouncing back to the future it was in. Similar weirdness surrounds literally every interaction between inverted and uninverted things. I don't think you could even say people are hitting eachother, because it's more like they're warping time around eachother.

The reason this is stupid is not that there are 'errors' but that it makes it pretty much impossible to track characters' thought processes. That's sort of an issue when the movie's entirely about strategies.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


Ruffian Price posted:

lol this movie tries to do a whole explainer on inverted thermodynamics and then just plays explosions backwards

And the backwards explosions do a far better job of illustrating things.

When I write about “what’s actually going on”, I don’t mean the bullshit exposition. I’m talking about more basic stuff like them intercutting normal POVs with inverted POVs that nonetheless play out normally, which makes it not only impossible to show multiple perspectives, but also to show perspectives at all.

Like, basically, any time you see anything ‘inverted’ onscreen, that’s effectively a glimpse at an alternate backwards universe. There also may be multiple alternate universes in play, and we’re often cycling through these universes in the span of a couple seconds. It results in total gibberish.

Shaocaholica posted:

Also what’s with the thick rear end green gloves at the lab? That’s a mechanic we never see again.

According to the film, an inverted object will gradually lose its invertedness as it comes into contact with normal hands, normal oxygen, etc. The gloves would presumably hamper that somehow, and allow them to preserve the specimens. Outside the lab, nobody seems to care.

SuperMechagodzilla fucked around with this message at 15:34 on May 2, 2021

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


pospysyl posted:

"Fire freezes instead of burns" is underrated as a completely bonkers premise.

This is where the actual techniques used (e.g. the reverse photography) actually work against the premise; if an inverted flamethrower is functionally a freeze-ray that sucks heat out of things, then an inverted bullet unstriking a normal wall should just suck energy out of the wall, turning it into inverse kinetic energy.

To an outside observer, it would probably appear as if absolutely nothing has happened to the wall, while the bullet flies up from the floor and bounces off of it, into the gun.

All the bullshit exposition in the film is ultimately there to explain the use of reverse photography, which means the movie is actually about the experience of watching a movie backwards, rewinding, etc. - and disguising the resulting continuity errors.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


What’s telling is that nobody gives poo poo about the actual story of the film, which is literally just an average spy thriller about radioactive bullets - where several of the characters are clones for some reason, and they all periodically stop to review videotapes.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


Groovelord Neato posted:

The motive of the future people is great but it should've been more than a throwaway line.

The most interesting stuff in the movie is unfortunately relegated to dialogue.

For example, the algorithm’s components are said to have been “hidden in the past”, but that means they were inverted. There’s no indication that they were ever un-inverted/copied (the exposition even tells us they cannot be copied).

If we’re to believe this exposition, then the Oppenheimer scientist first constructed the object by dismantling it backwardsly. The journey of the object was then backwards in time, through the events of the film, and into a Russian storage facility - where, prior to 2008, it disappeared from the historical record and seemingly just popped out of existence - maybe some billions of years ago.

I call this “The Big Bang Theory”.

In any case, Tenet’s actual mission is to ensure that the object is successfully dismantled by Oppenheimer, instead of paradoxically skipping its (un)creation and becoming eternal.

But, of course, the “winds of entropy” poo poo complicates this.

SuperMechagodzilla fucked around with this message at 13:56 on May 3, 2021

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


Of course, it could be that - by breaking up the algorithm - the protagonists are actually doing the opposite and preventing the object from reaching the scientist, generating the paradox I just mentioned.

I assume that a lot of this was being saved for a sequel. Like, the Goya was obviously "forged" in a turnstile, which is why Kat sincerely authenticated it.

SuperMechagodzilla fucked around with this message at 14:07 on May 3, 2021

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


I am the ultimate killing machine.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


SMEGMA_MAIL posted:

I dunno I didn’t feel like I needed to know or that it would be coherent. Humans have engaged in stupid arms races, wars, and climate destruction without any real rationale other than a pileup of complex power plays and prisoners dilemmas and it just became a race to plunder the past or something.

The trouble here is that everything we’re told about the future-baddies is almost certainly a lie, or at least a gross misunderstanding.

For example, the lab technician says that all the objects carefully organized on the shelves are inverted trash from a future conflict. But, because of the “winds of entropy” conceit, these objects are just randomly popping into existence inside this facility so that they can be eventually assembled. In other words, what we’re seeing is a not a museum, but manufacturing plant for inverted objects.

Likewise, the explanation of how Sator gets his money makes little sense unless we understand that he’s actually using the turnstile to duplicate gold and send it into the future. It’s logically impossible for him to remove anything from the “time capsules” if they’re directly from the future, so the gold he uncovers in the flashback must have originated in an earlier past - much too far in the past for it to have been buried by an inverted future-person.

There are several ways to explain your way out of this, but the simplest version is that the whole thing‘s a set-up.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


Megaman's Jockstrap posted:

You can take the inverted gold from the future and turnstile it, now you have regular gold that you can do whatever the gently caress you want with.

That's half-right. The film's explanation is this:

"He buries his time capsule, transmits the location, then digs it up to collect the inverted materials they sent. Seemingly instantaneous."

That doesn't actually work, because digging up the capsule now means it will no longer be there in the future. And the inverted gold is going backwards in time, so Sator should already have it before he goes through any of this procedure.

Based on the film's logic, it must actually go like this:

1) Sator builds a "turnstile".
2) Two capsules full of gold magically pop out of each end - one of which is inverted.
3) Sator buries the inverted gold in a secret location. (He must do this to avoid a TIME PARADOX.)
4) Sator can now freely spend the normal gold.

And you can probably see how this runs into issues.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


Snowman_McK posted:

It's why Bill and Ted's 'just remember to put that there later...ah, here it is' makes at least as much sense.

That actually is precisely the logic, because Sator's flashback shows a capsule being dug up. That means his gold actually originates in the past, not the future. It had to have been planted there by somebody living before the 1980s.

So Priya gave Protag false intel. But was she lying, was she herself duped, or was she half-right because Sator has multiple sources of magic gold? We don't know, and we ultimately can't know - yet each of those possibilities changes how we understand the film.

If Sator keeps digging up buckets of gold from the 1970s with the belief that it's coming direct from the future, then he's a total idiot. That's like believing in Santa because Christmas presents appeared under your tree. ("How else could they get in if all the doors were locked???")

But if Sator's not a total idiot, then he believes the "Evil Future People" already had agents doing poo poo back in the 1970s. This just raises more questions, though - like, why don't they just pay him directly instead of going though the trouble of burying the gold? Why tell him about the time-travel stuff? Why even give this dumbass multiple time machines?

Of course, if Priya is lying, then it's possible that the "Evil Future People" never existed and Sator was just set up by Tenet for obscure reasons. "This whole operation is a temporal pincer movement", etc. So basically everything in the movie happens because Protag wanted to, and it's basically a remake of Paycheck with Ben Affleck. Or not.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


JazzFlight posted:

-Future People dig up capsule, insert inverted gold which travels back in time, and rebury capsule
-Sator digs up capsule (right after he buried it) that now has inverted gold that's been sitting there for 100 years in reverse.

That doesn't work because, if Sator removes inverted gold from the capsule, the gold will no longer have been put into the capsule.

It's helpful to isolate the specific perspectives.

From the perspective of the gold, it is being buried in the future and unburied in the past.
From the perspective of Sator, he is simply burying the gold and leaving a treasure map.

It is logically impossible for Sator to ever dig up inverted gold from the future and use it. He can only bury the inverted gold that randomly appears out of nowhere.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


gregday posted:

I think I broke my brain thinking about the Blue team member that gets sealed up inside the wall at Stalsk-12.

If the film were playing fair, you would have an army of inverted skeletons. Tenet people could place them in strategic locations to undecompose and 'spring back to life' when needed.

Unfortunately, the film uses "winds of entropy" to say that the corpses just pop in/out of existence offscreen.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


Zaphod42 posted:

Except, here's where it gets weird.

What if Past Sator opens box. Sees no gold. Then closes box. Then sends email. Then future sends gold backwards. Then Present Sator opens box, sees gold. He then TAKES THE GOLD OUT. This then means the gold is no longer sitting in the box, so Past Sator sees no gold.

I think that actually works?

Nope, because Sator cannot take any gold out of the box. He can only put gold into the box.

gregday posted:

I think there’s a few tiers of sensemaking in Tenet

Almost everything makes sense, if you accept that both inversion and uninversion are ‘contagious’ in ways that may as well be random. Like, just knowing about invertedness causes parts of Protag’s mind to invert.

What does not work at all are the instances of teleportation.

When the SUV “unhits” the car’s mirror, a chunk of glass flies up from the road and attaches itself. The logic is that the glass of the mirror ‘caught’ the invertedness of the SUV. But how did that particular chunk of glass end up on the road there if it initially, spontaneously, fell off miles away from that point? The mirror (and its components) may be going backwards in time, but it’s still moving forwards in space.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


Zaphod42 posted:

Uh.... why??

Because, from Sator’s perspective, the box is always empty until he puts the gold into it.

His entire goal is to send the gold into the future. If he takes the gold out of the box at any point before the future happens, he is preventing that goal from happening.

To simplify, let’s replace the gold with a sandwich in a refrigerator. The Future-Mans want to keep the sandwich fresh for lunch tomorrow.

If Sator takes the sandwich out of the refrigerator and eats it today, the Future-Mans cannot eat it tomorrow. There is no way for Sator to ever eat the sandwich today and still leave it in the fridge for tomorrow.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


Zaphod42 posted:

You are responding to some completely different context than the conversation I was having and the post you quoted. We're talking about Sator receiving gold from the future, not sending gold into the future. You're on an entirely different page.

I understand how the time travel works read my last 3 posts. You don't need to waste time on a sandwich metaphor.

"What if Past Sator opens box. Sees no gold. Then closes box. Then sends email. Then future sends gold backwards. Then Present Sator opens box, sees gold. He then TAKES THE GOLD OUT."

In this part, you're switching randomly between an inverted POV and an uninverted POV, while also skipping forwards and backwards in time.

If we arrange your paragraph in linear order, it reads like this:

"Past Sator opens box. Sees no gold. Then closes box. He then TAKES GOLD OUT. Then Present Sator opens box, sees gold. Then sends email. Then future sends gold backwards."

But that is still flipping the POVs, which is why the logic is off. Fully corrected, it reads like this:

"Past Sator opens box. Sees no gold. He then PUTS GOLD IN. Then Present Sator sees gold, closes box. Then sends email. Then future receives gold."

SuperMechagodzilla fucked around with this message at 21:24 on May 6, 2021

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


Zaphod42 posted:

But Sator absolutely does take the gold out, from his non-inverted perspective. That's what we're talking about, and you haven't added anything mechanically to that discussion.

But he doesn't. From a normal perspective, he is putting gold in.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


Megaman's Jockstrap posted:

So, to the point of the puddle: I do believe that he could not. The movie says "either way you made it happen" when showing the video tape, but it's lying. If the effect comes before the cause, the cause must occur, ergo there is no choice and no free will.

Things go out the window when you see the famous trailer shot of the building simultaneously exploding and unexploding - which means that building has only ever existed for the fraction of a second where neither rocket has hit.

You would assume that the building could not be destroyed without first being built, but there's effectively a God in the film who intervenes to ensure the consistency of the universe - by destroying the building offscreen so that it can be later undestroyed. If the protagonist doesn't step in the puddle, the puddle will just settle down.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


sethsez posted:

This would work better if Tenet didn't spend about 60% of its dialog trying to explain how everything is working anyway. Inception has exposition for the parts that directly matter for the story (and it sticks to those rules throughout), and everything else is just left to "it's magic science" and isn't explained at all.

Inception has a clear idea of what needs to be explained and what doesn't, and it knows what needs to be set in stone and what can be a magical contrivance. Tenet, meanwhile, has no loving clue. The fact that Inception is grounded by understandable character emotions and motivations doesn't hurt, either.

Once it’s established that faith alone has a causal effect - e.g. that “remembering” an inverted event that hasn’t yet happened will cause it to happen - everything becomes magic. Or it may as well be; there are very few instances like when Protag stares at the flipped car, and you can see him remembering to crash that car.

It’s also established that an inverted bullet strikes at two points in time simultaneously, that inverted objects can and do eventually ‘freeze’ in time and appear/vanish, that inversion is ‘contagious’, etc. You actually can map out nearly everything according to these rules, with enough effort, but there’s not much point.

What’s actually going on in the film is simply that the protagonists are protecting the symbolic universe of meaning against “chaos”, and this is why they’re getting ‘meta’ with the film being about the construction of a narrative.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


sethsez posted:

This isn't because things aren't explained enough, it's because things are explained too much, some of those explanations are just flat-out discredited by what actually happens on screen, about half of those explanations happen behind masks and under blaring music, and it fails to make clear distinctions between when characters are guessing how something works and when they know how something works. It over-talks itself into a corner when it probably should have just stopped at "don't think about it, just feel it" and gotten on with the action.

At the same time, making a movie that's like 40% reverse photography - rapidly intercut with regular footage - turns out to be a pretty bad idea. Like, I appreciate the experimental nature of it, but it basically just demonstrates why filmmakers don't do it.



This roughly charts the one minute of screen-time where Protag gets shot at by Inverted Protag. It traces the inversion level of:

-Protag
-Inverted Protag
-Inverted Gun
-Inverted Bullet
-Window

Point A is where the first/last bullet strikes the window. Although you can note that the window changes inversion twice, making things rather weird, I've also crucially left out the fact that part of both characters are randomly inverting. Parts of their bodies, parts of their minds, etc. Those can't even be charted. The chart also only shows events from a single 'normal' POV, and you would have to heavily rearrange it to understand Inverted Protag's POV (due to the "turnstile").

SuperMechagodzilla fucked around with this message at 20:09 on May 9, 2021

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


Sir Kodiak posted:

Protagonist may just be wrong about how it works.

This is the trick.

Interstellar provides a puzzle that’s ‘solveable’. Spaceman McConaughey believes that he’s contacted humans from the future, but everything in the logic of the film hints that they’re actually robots working to undo humanity’s extinction. This is important, because - although that film also has apocalyptic stakes in a “closed” time-loop - humanity may not survive unless the loop is modified to include them. There is a a no fate except the one we make for ourselves, as per Terminator.

Tenet does the same thing with Protag’s belief that he’s in control of everything, contrasted with all the bizarre murkiness around the actual details. (Who was Arepo working for? Does he even exist? Was Sator set up? Stuff like that.)

The unspoken fact is that nobody is in control and nobody knows what’s going on.

Consequently, Tenet is very similar to Memento in that the protagonist can only follow obscure messages that he appears to have left for himself - and he doesn’t really account for the possibility that he is a liar.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


Sir Kodiak posted:

Yes, that works:



Note that this basically matches Protagonist's description:

Protagonist: "Dead drops. He buries his time capsule, transmits the location, and digs it up to collect the inverted materials they sent."

Neil: "Seemingly instantaneous. Where's he bury it?"

Protagonist: "Some place that won't be discovered for centuries."

He just leaves out an inversion step. So it's not even so much wrong as incomplete. Of course, this assumes he has a turnstile, which he wouldn't early on (presumably).

The part on the blue line where “Sator places [buries] the empty capsule” is redundant. He’d just be burying an empty box, then digging it up, just to bury it again.

Otherwise, the chart ‘works’ - except for the fact that none of this is shown, and we’re specifically shown the exact opposite happening with the bulldozer.

We’re also shown that things are much weirder than a few sentences can convey - because if the technician can make bullets fly “towards” her hand just by (somehow) remembering to unpush them, then it’s likely possible for Sator to change the gold’s past and his own future by simply choosing not to (un)bury it.

One way to conceptualize these interactions is that, every time a character sees an inverted thing, they are technically prophesying that thing’s future. When a character manipulates an inverted object, they are altering its past to match that ‘predetermined’ future. So although people try to rationalize it as some blandly deterministic universe where everything is locked in place, we have this additional layer of complexity where everything is in constant flux, because decisions in the present affect past and future simultaneously.

Of course this means, like, that a character can just decide “I was in charge all along” and it will become true until something contradicts it.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


Zaphod42 posted:

Lets say he doesn't "put the box down, then invert, then open it and take out the gold"

How does this work in your view?

He would just put inverted gold in the box and bury it. That's the same action minus the redundancy.

Whether Sator is inverted or not is fairly irrelevant, since normal people can interact with inverted objects (and vice-versa) without much difficulty.

As for where the inverted gold "comes from", it either pops into existence spontaneously, as the bullets do, or it pops into existence from out of a time machine.

Zaphod42 posted:

NO!

The bullet's past DOES NOT CHANGE because the protagonist does not know the future yet!

Nothing can EVER change in TENET. If it can literally nothing works and nothing can ever be consistent. The ONE universal truth of this movie is that THERE ARE NO ALTERNATE TIMELINES.

ACTUALLY!!!

I did not write anything about "alternate timelines"; I am referring to iterations of the loop. It is possible to modify the loop through actions that change both past and future simultaneously. This should be understandable to anyone who's seen Terminator 2.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


Zaphod42 posted:

Its not, because you know the future of the gold HAS to be that its in the box in order to arrive in the past.

You're going in a lot of directions at once, so let's stick to this specific claim for now.

None of the characters come from the future, so we have no 'firsthand' knowledge of the future from which the gold 'originates'. It could be anything.

The standard view of time is that the past is set but the future is open. The conceit of the film is that this is reversed for certain objects.

So, you know the ending of the story, but you can (re)write how it begins, because you're literally just applying physical forces to some magical anti-aging particles.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


Zaphod42 posted:

So you see the gold at one point, which is your past, its future, and then you take it out at another point, your future, its past, and now you've contradicted what was already set in stone, its past.

You're writing things very convolutedly just to make a basic assertion like "the past is set in stone!!!". From that assumption, the existence of backwards stuff is taken to mean that "everything is set in stone!!!".

I understand that this is your basic view.

However, if the protagonist takes a bullet that should be made in India in five years, and then keeps it in his pocket for six years, this wouldn't actually contradict anything in the film except some very dubious exposition. He will have simply altered the bullet's origin.

"But he can't do that! He MUST take the bullet to India so it can be made?" Why? The same dubious exposition says he has free will, and this is a fantasy movie about wizards who use spy magic. The bullet can be a magic bullet that has existed since the dawn/end of time.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


Megaman's Jockstrap posted:

I mean it's true, it's a movie, this is not a documentary. But if the Spy Magic doesn't obey any of the Law Arcana then what the hell are we left with? Some well-shot car crash footage played backwards, and some bad action footage also played backwards? Oh and the building being time-hosed (seriously, the building being time-hosed is drat near the price of admission)? Dunno, I enjoyed playing with the rules of the setting because the time travel rule stuff was interesting. The characters and plot sure as hell wasn't.

With any fantasy movie, the question is whose fantasy we’re talking about, and what is being fantasized about.

Annihilation gussies up a retelling of Parsifal with botched references to quantum mechanics and cellular biology. If you put too much detail into your fake science, and make your characters experts, then the errors will just jump right out. In that film, you have to conclude that a big chunk of the film is a hallucination caused by the mysterious space radiation. (The content of the hallucination is determined by the characters’ New Age spirituality.)

So, with Tenet, we do have to accept that some Time poo poo is actually happening in the diegesis - but what we’re seeing is actually incredibly complex distortions of time: folds, ripples, etc. You cannot chart these; it’d look like the surface of the ocean, and most of the effects are invisible. So the real task is to figure out what is really concrete - and the exposition is of little or no help here.

Instead, we can go to the early torture scene. The character’s teeth are pulled out and then perfectly reconstructed, so it’s as if nothing happened - except the memory. This is obviously related to the inverted wounds that immediately disappear into a fold in time, but it’s an image that keeps popping up. Time folds so that Kat and Sator can be back on the boat as if nothing has happened, etc.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


SMEGMA_MAIL posted:

They weren’t back on the boat as if nothing happened. That was both older them having gone back.

Right; that’s literally what happened in the plot. Yet they’re both acting as if only an hour has passed since she broke the fruit bowl, because that’s how the scene is contrived. Then Kat’s like “surprise I’m murdering you because of a traumatic sequence of events that’s been erased from history!”

As with the torture scene, Kat’s decision to kill Sator follows the same pattern as the bullet hole that spontaneously opens and closes - but without any recourse to “inverted objects” gimmickry. These two scenes illustrate what the film is actually about.

So the the solution is not to futilely chart all the incomprehensible time-ocean fuckery, but to brutally simplify: Protag walks into the airport wearing an expensive suit, then he walks out wearing tactical gear.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


Zaphod42 posted:

The bullet and the gold aren't the same. I said that like 2 times.

As I already said, "it works because the movie said so" is basically missing the point. If you don't care if the movie is internally consistent, then we have nothing to discuss. That's fine, but don't keep arguing the logic of it if you don't care about the logic of it.

I am not ‘getting it’ because you are incorrect and/or failing to convey what you mean.

I am specifically looking at what happens in the story, as opposed to the expository dialogue. That is the opposite of ‘taking the movie at its word’.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


Zaphod42 posted:

If what you say is true, then the Protagonist is an idiot and didn't need to kill himself.

Also, he could go back and save Neil, but didn't because he's dumb.

That's your preferred interpretation?

The protagonist does not kill himself. Neil chooses to kill himself because he believes (based on the information he’s given) that embracing his fate will marginally improve the world.

But, yes, the characters are all idiots.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


Owlofcreamcheese posted:

I feel like everyone in the movie is fully aware they could do crazy causality breaking things and something crazy would happen if they did but everyone is playing by "please be cool about this" rules.

Even though he believes paradoxes are impossible, Neil specifically complains that future people are loving up his timeline with their tomfoolery.

His point is that you can really change a lot in both the past and future without necessarily causing a paradox.

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SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007

NEWT REBORN


Its Chocolate posted:

no they're both acting like that because both of them are trying to convince the other one that's the time they're from

Right: the scene is contrived so that they must act as if only an hour has passed.

The narrative point is that there is more truth in this weird mutual performance than in the ‘real’ convoluted time-travel scenario.

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