'Interstellar'- The battle between Science and Narrative.


     We just recently got to watch 'Interstellar' in theaters. I personally enjoyed the film very much and was quite impressed with those involved. Being a writer and a rather scientifically minded person myself, it got me thinking about the balancing act that is Science Fiction narrative.

      There has always been an interplay between Science and Narrative. This is especially exemplified in the medium of cinema. With Christopher Nolan's latest film 'Interstellar' we have a new subject to analyze this relationship.  I will try not to go into too much depth on Nolan's script as to not spoil anything. Instead I will pose several thoughts that you can chew on after the credits roll.

        The scripting of 'Interstellar' began with the desire of several scientists hoping to create a story that is as scientifically accurate that it can be.   From draft to draft the piece took form. Yet, was it sacrificing its' scientific footing for the sake of narrative? Yes and no. The more narratively minded the group became the more taxing it became to keep it within the realm of scientific/theoretical 'reality'.  

     This article from The New York Times goes into further detail on the process

'Interstellar': The Cinema of Physics

   The further we delve into the theoretical side of science and science fiction the more we bend the suspension of disbelief.  This may be due to the fact that the cutting edge of theoretical cosmic science is harder for the average to movie goer to follow without the full lead up. Without a full scientific lecture (that I wouldn't mind) beforehand it is rather hard to reach the sweet/fun ideas that Nolan plays with, quite liberally, within the generous 3 hour movie timeframe.  It isn't surprising he would have to skip a few steps for the sake of time and boredom of his audience. This may, sadly, cause more entertainment than sense.

     The question then becomes; is there a sweet spot between Science Fiction and Science Realism in Cinema?  Does it matter?   Scientific knowledge influences our ideas in Science Fiction and our viewing of Science Fiction media definitely influences our perceived knowledge of Science.  It may as well be that the two cannot be fully mixed or fully separated.

  Do you think that Interstellar found that balance or tipped the scale too far one way or another? 

Though I can get wrapped up in discussion an talk of theory beyond the film; I still think that the film stands among the best of the year and is definitely worth a watch. The visuals are impressive and the settings are immersive. Like several of Nolan's other films it definitely will make you think. Which, in my opinion, is never a bad thing.

-Nicholas Lee Demetrius Korokidas

Omni-Fusion Media Production