“Inception” Marketing Aims for the Mystery, But Could Be Too Mysterious

At the "Inception" press conference last week director Chris Nolan took questions about the mysterious veil around his latest creation. Everything from the trailer to the billboards looks delicious and dreamy -- but what's the movie about?

Generally movie hype is pretty sharply defined around a simple concept. See Adam Sandler learn new life lessons with his childhood friends or see a little Monk save the world. "Inception," meanwhile, is a great big, beautiful movie question mark starring Leonard DiCaprio and a host of our favorite actors.

Nolan makes no apology for the mystery. "It's a difficult balance, marketing and keeping a movie fresh for the audience," he said.

But he noted his best movie experiences have always been shrouded in initial mystery: "Going to the theater and lights go down and seeing a movie that you don't know anything about," he said. "I want to be surprised and entertained."

"So that's what we're trying to do with the audience."

While Nolan noted that "secrecy lends itself to its own hype," he also runs the risk of bypassing the mass audience all together. They might not go for the payoff for the movie, which opens July 16. An amazing film is not always going to be enough to drive America to the movie theater.

Still Nolan remains steadfast. "We don't want to give everything away," he said. "I think too much is given away too often in movies."

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