About a movie. A bomb. And not about responsibility. And about Oppenheimer.
1. The art
Maya Deren said that Hollywood (and basically what we define as cinema) was just a cheap copy of theater. Cinema had not seized the opportunity to develop a new language, a new form. It stayed where the theater had been. It told “stories.” But precisely the form, that is, a mere depiction of reality, is, let’s say, conservative. And even if we use the best technology, even if image and sound become real, it remains so. We are looking at reality. Nothing more, nothing less.
2. The film
So if we say that a film is a work of art, we say just that. That the depiction of reality is successful. Of course, the director may have deliberately chosen a part of reality to show us. So we can ask ourselves why he chose that particular part. The story might be interesting. Or characters that the film wanted to show us. What we give up is the closeness, the unique perhaps, what the theater offers us. But the film remains a poor rather than better representation of the play.
3. The statement
So what remains? Especially in the case of a film, whose model is the story? Of course, we can say that the choice of reality has a message (Europeans like intellectual superstructures, sometimes a film is just a film and has no message). Maybe it is. At least the film did not leave any moral reflection. Since Ingarden already dealt with the ontic grounds of responsibility. Nolan may have been able to partially approach Ingarden’s thoughts, but he failed to provide deeper thoughts.
4 The totality
Perhaps it is the only thing that a contemporary film can then adorn itself with as a work of art. I would recommend watching the film, if, in the theater. Here, Nolan has actually managed to integrate the image and sound, how shall I put it, not important, but still as an essential part of the narrative. Sure, you can watch the film at home. But the effect of the statement (the film has one, but the film is not about responsibility) can be enjoyed exclusively in the cinema. At home, it would be like watching King Lear streamed on an old TV rather than in the theater.
So go to the theaters. Oppenheimer is still running.