In the Internet age, certain types of movies stir such intense reactions – both positive and negative – and engender such provocative analyses that the conversations about them become elaborate film studies in their own right. Chris Nolan's Inception is, of course, one of those films, and I've linked to a couple of Jim Emerson's posts about it. Now here's a long post titled "Seventeen Ways of Criticising Inception" from the Big Other blog. It's very snarky (and funny) in places but it's also one of the most detailed, well-articulated pieces of negative criticism I've read in a while (and I'd like to think it would appeal on some level even to those who loved Nolan's film). I particularly enjoyed the way the writer, A D Jameson, has woven in references to, among other things: the novels of Philip K Dick (and he's right about Dick's great The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch "practically containing Inception"); Robert Aldrich's Kiss Me Deadly and Antonioni's Zabriskie Point; Cornelia Parker's installation art; and the Seinfeld episode "The Betrayal". His rants about Nolan's misogyny are a lot of fun ("The woman's name is 'Mal', for crying out loud!"). Best of all, he almost offhandedly throws in a list of "more than fifty films dealing with memory or the unreal nature of reality, all of which are vastly superior".
Personally I have no issue with people thinking Inception is a mindf#!k of a film. But this post really should be read by anyone who thinks it's a major pathbreaker with few precedents in movie history. Or anyone who enjoys provocative film writing. Go.