Few directors have a knack for maintaining the mystery these days. Since the dawn of the internet, the allure of not-knowing has been stripped away from major Hollywood productions. These days it’s difficult to hold back, especially when the blogosphere picks through every ounce of information, spoiler or not, about any production that is the least bit interesting. We are reminded this week of a few directors who still to it well. J.J. Abrams released a trailer for a movie he directed that no one saw coming, and now Super 8 is all the rage. He is one of the few who can pull it off — bring to market a film and maintain some mystery.
Christopher Nolan is another. Even though The Dark Knight was top-of-mind for the world of movie geekery for months prior to its release, there was still some magic left when it finally hit theaters. Marketing diversions helped, especially those ARGs that had little to do with the actual movie and more to do with the universe in which it existed. It was an excellent strategy that kept the hoards of spoiler-happy masses at bay.
Now we come to Inception.. And even though the marketing is different, the mystery remains. Nolan has once again created a film that is interesting to the nth-degree, even though he hasn’t told us much about it. And even after this weekend — when Warner Bros. will debut a brand new theatrical trailer for the film — we still may not be able to see the whole picture. That’s a good thing. No matter how much our ADD-generation anxiety wants to know what this complex thriller is all about, it’s better that we’re able to walk in with fresh(ish) eyes. That is how you can experience the magic of film — especially well-crafted narrative. If you don’t know what’s coming.
That said, I — like many of you — am interested in known a little bit more about Inception right now. It’s what compels me to publish this official synopsis:
Dom Cobb (DiCaprio) is a skilled thief, the absolute best in the dangerous art of extraction, stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state, when the mind is at its most vulnerable. Cobb’s rare ability has made him a coveted player in this treacherous new world of corporate espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved. Now Cobb is being offered a chance at redemption.
One last job could give him his life back but only if he can accomplish the impossible—inception. Instead of the perfect heist, Cobb and his team of specialists have to pull off the reverse: their task is not to steal an idea but to plant one. If they succeed, it could be the perfect crime. But no amount of careful planning or expertise can prepare the team for the dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move. An enemy that only Cobb could have seen coming. This summer, your mind is the scene of the crime.
And what compels me to discuss the fact that a movie that operates within the architecture of the human mind, playing around with the nature of dreams and their power over us is deeply fascinating. Any film that can tackle this concept successfully will have no trouble engaging me through its runtime and beyond. It’s what has me so interested in Inception, and wanting more.
This little bit of information, combined with rumblings of something more, have my anxiety about this project on the upswing. Jeff Wells pointed out this week that many insiders are talking about Inception‘s secret — it has a big act three reveal. And while I would never, ever want to know ahead of time what lies beneath such rumblings, the knowledge of its existence is enough to give me the jitters. The mind races. What is this big reveal? How will Christopher Nolan bend our minds to the point of eruption? The wait is killing me. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
On a related note, please enjoy the new IMAX poster for Inception below, courtesy of Yahoo Movies.