16 July 2010

These days, following viral marketing campaigns for Christopher Nolan’s films would be almost as fun as watching them, if he hadn’t churned out some of the most interesting and thought-provoking movies of the last ten years. 2000’s Memento was his first major success, shot in just 25 days in Burbank, California with a small cast and a bizarre back-to-front narrative. 2002’s Insomnia achieved that rarest of successes, being a remake superior to the original (just wait and see if Hollywood’s attempts at other Scandinavian gems like Let The Right One In and Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy can do the same).

Then there was the small matter of two Batman films that first made the character a viable prospect in Hollywood again, and then put to the test the Academy’s perceived bias against comic book films. That The Dark Knight didn’t even get a nomination for Best Picture, when The Reader did, says a great deal about the position comic book adaptations still hold with the judging panel. It remains to be seen whether Nolan’s next (and possibly final) installment in the Gotham mythos can break that duck.

Nolan’s latest slice of noir seems, on the face of it, his boldest yet. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, and featuring a mind-dissolving plot that starts from a simple, much attempted premise (what would the inside of your head look like), Inception will split audiences and critics united by The Dark Knight’s relative narrative cohesion, and possibly place Nolan as the most natural, and more successful scion to Terry Gilliam.

The campaign machine for Inception began back in October 2009, with a website that featured a spinning top, slowing down day-by-day as the viral marketing campaign start date neared. In the following months, four stages of a fully playable game have become available to play. Work web-users be warned: this game is ridiculously addictive.

Inception opens at FACT from today (Friday 16 July)...