When I was younger I used to feel a thrill of anticipation when going to the cinema to see a big film. Always a slight shudder of nerves and excitement as the film’s title and BBFC certificate, along with the authorising signatories, appeared on screen. I was self-consciously apprehensive about whether something I was really, really looking forward to, could possibly live up to the hype I’d been assigning it in my brain for days and weeks beforehand. I hoped for the best, but feared the worst.
But sometime in my early twenties, it all stopped. Maybe I’d seen too many films. Maybe I’d been disappointed by too many movies to work myself up anymore. Maybe it was just part of growing up. I still made sure that I was in the cinema queue early, of course – there’s nothing worse than turning up late and having to sit down the front, craning your neck to see the screen (I still chuckle when people enter after the opening titles have started, and actually look surprised when they can’t find a decent seat) – but those nerves at the sight of the BBFC logo had disappeared completely.
So why reminisce about this now? It has to do with the release of Inception, Christopher Nolan’s latest blockbuster. I absolutely loved The Dark Knight, and in particular Nolan’s confident handling of the film. From what I understand, TDK’s success essentially gave him a blank cheque to do whatever he wanted next, and Inception is – no pun intended – his dream project, something he’s been thinking about for a number of years. What’s exciting about it is not only Nolan being given free reign, but the film supposedly being a multi-layered, surprising and complex tale. Quite a departure for a megabudget thriller.
In addition, there are whispers that the trailers for the film don’t give away what it’s really about. The last time a trailer for a blockbuster was ambiguous and left the viewer wanting more answers than they were given, was probably for The Matrix back in 1999. Remember the whole “What Is The Matrix?” tease of that campaign? The marketing for Inception has that same kind of iceberg quality about it – you just know that there’s loads of stuff hidden under the surface.
So I’m really looking forward to Inception. And when the BBFC logo comes up, I reckon there could be a fair few butterflies.