Scott Renshaw discusses Inception.
For weeks — nay, months — I played along with the coy refusals by writer/director Christopher Nolan and the cast members of Inception to reveal too much about its premise. I resisted the urge to watch online trailers; I shunned early reviews; in effect, I spent the entire spring doing everything but literally sticking my fingers in my ears and chanting “la la la la la.” So now I’m faced with a philosophical question nearly as thorny as those posed by Nolan in the film itself: How do I approach discussing its conceptual ambition while preserving that sense of discovery?
Christopher Nolan is a filmmaker who demands that you wrestle with ideas. Now, that doesn’t mean bowing down to him as pop culture’s answer to Socrates; he’s too gifted a showman to make it all about dissecting his koans. But for a decade, Nolan has built a body of work out of how we define our identity and our reality: the self-created memory of Memento; the existential magic trick at the climax of The Prestige; Batman’s surrender to what people need to believe in The Dark Knight. Inception finds him again in that familiar territory—and the result is something almost as thrilling to contemplate as it is to watch.
Read the rest here.