The Treacherous Architecture of the Mind in Christopher Nolan’s "Inception"


  • Christin Knöppler


Architektur, Bewusstsein <Motiv>, Film, Inception <Film>, Konstrukt, Raum


Nolan brings a fairly recognizable style to all his movies, often described as “dark” or “gritty.” The tone is relentlessly serious, and the narratives are infused with the ambiguity and pessimism of film noir. His protagonists are, without exception, tortured, obsessed men, struggling with the loss of loved ones or past mistakes. Not only do these men face an uncaring world with murky morality, their sense of self is also unstable. To go along with the faulty memories and self-deceptions of his characters, Nolan also has a knack for misleading his audience with convoluted narratives. As Fisher puts it, he specializes in puzzles that can’t be solved. Inception, to my mind, makes an excellent showcase for all these themes. Therefore, through an examination of its use of space and architecture as metaphors for the mind, I aim to determine the concept of the malleable self that underlies all of Nolan’s movies.