The New Yorker, 26 July 2010: David Denby on “Inception”

It is fall. Self doesn’t care what the calendar says. To her mind, as soon as the Japanese anemones start to bloom, and the hydrangeas start to fade, summer is over.

Fall is a nice time of year, because of Halloween. Otherwise, the days move too fast. She can’t believe that November seems to be just around the corner.

Self is still woefully backed up in her reading. Her next couple of books, after Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Infidel (fascinating) will be European mysteries and one memoir (When the Crocodile Eats the Sun). Which brings self to the best memoir she’s read all year: Danielle Trussoni’s Falling Through the Earth. First runner-up would be the book self is current reading, Infidel.

Self was going to post about the books in the New Yorker’s “Briefly Noted” section, but on second thought, it will be much more fun to quote from David Denby’s review of Inception:

Inception is a stunning-looking film that gets lost in fabulous intricacies, a movie devoted to its own workings and to little else.

Hmmm …

Denby then goes on to describe each member of di Caprio’s team, reserving the worst for Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character, Arthur:  “a demanding, unimaginative sourpuss.”  Aside from the relationship between Cobb (di Caprio) and his dead wife, the rest of the movie is “strenuous process.”  He compares Chris Nolan to Luis Bunuel (“The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie”) and says, “Bunuel was a surrealist —  Nolan is a literal-minded man.”

Self thinks dear blog readers get it:  Denby was not enthused.

Awww, David, where’s your sense of fun?

About the only criticism self can think to make of the movie is that the main character’s name is “Cobb.”  It makes her think of “corn-on-the-cob.”  No, it’s worse than that:  it makes her think of Faulkner.

“Mal” is an OK name for a character who turns out to be a bad influence (Ha ha ha!); “Arthur” recalls The Knights of the Round Table; “Eames” is like —  oh, well, “easing your way into other people’s brains” (Self realizes this is pretty lame);  “Ariadne” is the perfect name for a dream weaver.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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