A Christopher Nolan fan loves ‘Tenet’ so much he made a PowerPoint for his date


A Christopher Nolan fan was hoping his passion for the director’s films could help him find love in real life. Instead, it helped make him go viral.

On Saturday, James Carman, 23, decided to show his date a PowerPoint presentation he made about Nolan’s 2020 sci-fi thriller “Tenet.” The film, which is about a secret agent who travels through time to prevent a world war, has been described as “confusing” by hundreds of people online, even by those who love it. 

The presentation featured 29 slides explaining various plot points and scenes throughout the movie, printed out and organized in order. 

Carman said he actually made the presentation several years ago — for a different girl.

“I thought she was cute, and I was trying to think of a way to stand out,” Carman said. “I thought it’d be kind of funny if I told her I’d make her a PowerPoint presentation. I don’t think she believed I would actually do it.”

But he decided to mention the PowerPoint anecdote online after he saw “Tenet” discourse make headlines again recently. Nolan, who is considered an Oscar contender for his latest film, “Oppenheimer,” revealed that he was “gasping and dying” in a Peloton class when his instructor gave a scathing spiel about “Tenet.” The instructor, Jenn Sherman, said it would “take a neuroscientist” to understand the movie.

Carman decided to upload his full presentation, titled “Tenet for Dummies,” to X. The post gained so much traction that Carman pitched taking Harpriya Bagri — a new friend who had told him she “didn’t fully get” the film — on a date so he could show her the PowerPoint. This time, he planned to record the whole thing knowing it’d be likely to get attention from viewers.

Bagri, 24, called the presentation “pretty entertaining.” She had known he would show it to her but didn’t know that it had been recorded until afterward.

“We had a lot of laughs,” Bagri said. “What’s kind of crazy about it is that the whole date was probably over an hour, but I know that the video that he posted is edited down to, like, 17 minutes. But we had a ton of discussions in between.”

Carman said the date was nerve-wracking because the restaurant was small enough that everyone there could watch — and judge — the guy giving a PowerPoint presentation to his date. Some of his friends had even suggested he play up the “tech bro mansplaining” attitude for the sake of the video, but Carman said he wanted to still be himself.

“I kind of want it to feel like, yes, there should be some cringe in there,” he said. “But overall, it’d be cool if it felt real. I think that’s the most awkward and funny way to do it.”

But the bizarreness of it all didn’t scare Bagri — instead, she ended up joining his camera guys to watch him edit video for the next four hours.

The final production, like his previous two posts in the saga, quickly blew up on X. Many poked fun at Carman’s PowerPoint date strategy, while others dissected the presentation itself.

“We’ve been sharing memes back and forth that people have made: people either saying I have no rizz, as Gen Z would say, or other funny memes,” Carman said. “We’ve been cracking up about it.”

Right now, he said, both of them are just enjoying the viral moment. And in terms of whether a second date is in the cards?

“I think it was pretty fun,” Bagri said. “So maybe.”

As for whether Nolan has heard of a viral “Tenet” PowerPoint and the guy behind it? Unclear. A spokesperson for the director didn’t respond to a request for comment.