Written by Jeremy Paxman

Thursday, 12 August 2010


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image for When Jeremy Paxman Met Chistopher Nolan
Visual Representation of "Inception"

Good evening. In tonight's Newsnight Special, we've invited Christopher Nolan to the studio to discuss his latest $160 million effort, Inception. Released to critical acclaim in July, Inception recouped almost half of the production cost on its opening weekend and Nolan is already tipped to win Best Director and Best Film at the next Oscars. Fans and critics alike are lauding Nolan as the new Stanley Kubrick.

In an interview recorded earlier, I put it to Nolan that Inception is in fact a laughable piece of overblown shit that has hoodwinked millions of deluded comic reading fanboy geeks who live with their mums into thinking they've seen something oh so deep and clever when in fact; they have actually sat and watched a steaming pile of turd for two hours.

Jeremy Paxman: Christopher Nolan, you're being cited as the new Stanley Kubrick. How does that make you feel?

Christopher Nolan: That's exactly what I was aiming for and I couldn't agree more. I can clearly see why people would watch my latest masterpiece, Inception, and feel like they have just watched a Kubrick movie.

Jeremy Paxman: OK Nolan, let me stop you right there because you have truly disappeared up your own arse. You are not nor ever will you be Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick would have done this film justice - after he had rewritten the script, changed half the cast, removed 60 minutes of length and replaced it with sensible content that made the film engaging and cohesive. I fear the next set of people to be duped by you will be those delinquents who will be brainwashed to vote for this trite idiocy come the Oscars. This is not the new 2001 nor is it Ridley Scotts Bladerunner. It is a barely disguised effort to pass off Transformers as something clever.

Christoper Nolan: Whooooooa. I'm feeling a lot of resentment here…

Jeremy Paxman: Damn right you are Nolan, you've pulled off the biggest con since the devil convinced the world he didn't exist.

Christopher Nolan: How am I conning people?

Jeremy Paxman: Because with this tripe you've created a film with the perfect defence mechanism. If viewers or critics dislike it you get to sneer at them from your ivory tower and say they don't understand it and that they're therefore stupid and uneducated. It's the perfect example of the Emperor's New Clothes. Everyone is running round lauding you because they have been told they have just seen something high brow. I'm sure Di Caprio et al had in depth briefings about the narrative and can explain it verbatim but us viewers are left to work it out for ourselves. And it's so full of holes, so full of irrelevant tripe, so full of infantile dialogue and so full of itself that it isn't easy.

Christopher Nolan: I think the box office success, the studio and thousands of fans who have rated it on IMDB.com would disagree…

Jeremy Paxman: Ok well let's start with the studios. You've had a few successful films - Memento was passable, Insomnia was crap, you got kudos for turning the Batman franchise round by rebooting it with Batman Begins (then sent it downhill again with the over-hyped, over-acted, over-fiddled with Dark Knight) and The Prestige was I guess good vacuous entertainment. Unfortunately for us, thanks to the box office success of The Dark Knight; you've taken your previous successes to the movie execs and they've foolishly allowed themselves to fund your rampant self indulgence. Even they're too scared to admit they haven't a clue what's gone on in the movie for fear of looking stupid. It's a classic American production - you all get smug and self-congratulatory when you 'create' anything with even the slightest veneer of deepness. I'm sorry but in Europe, that's standard. Inception is such a smug self congratulatory film from the get go and it just gets smugger as time drags on.

Christopher Nolan: What about the fans on IMDB?

Jeremy Paxman: Well I find it incredible that its been voted the 3rd best film of all time by IMDB users, that's just a joke. I know the fanboys all want to laud you as the new Kubrick (which is another joke) but in doing so they have voted this tosh above ALL of Kubricks work. I'm afraid this is the only inception with this crap - you have planted the idea into people's heads that you have created something unique and clever.

Christopher Nolan: But it is clever and it is a unique idea, I think people have grasped…

Jeremy Paxman: Oh for gods sake Nolan, it's far from original. There's obvious similarities with The Matrix, Dreamscape, Total Recall, Flatliners, Vanilla Sky, Pan's Labyrinth, Existenz, Dream Demon and even one of the Star Trek Next Generation Episodes which centred around the holodeck - all of which I've 'gotten' by the way - the good ones, the bad ones, the ones you ponder for days afterwards. The fact is with this abomination I simply can't be bothered to think about it because I really don't care. I don't care about the characters, I don't care about the ending (which was excruciatingly predictable) and I don't care about how clever you and the studio think you are. You're not. As I've said; you've pulled a massive con with this film by creating a movie where you can call people stupid if they don't get it or like it. You get to sneer and snigger at the stupid little people and that's what irritates me the most about this utter piffle. I understood what was understandable about this film and there are of course films where the intention is to purposely let the viewer fill in the gaps with their own imagination but this simply isn't one of them.

Christopher Nolan: But, I, I, I….. I thought the performances of the actors was superb and…

Jeremy Paxman: Oh please. The story, the script and indeed most of the awful acting (outside of Di Caprio, Juno girl Ellen Page and Cillian Murphy who were all passable) neither holds it together nor papers over the cracks of a weak script that's trying to be oh so deep... and badly failing. No-one could understand a word Ken Watanabe said throughout and no-one cares about a word that Michael Caine says since he is perhaps the most one-dimensional actor ever shat from the collective anus of British cinema.

Christopher Nolan: So what scenes didn't work for you?

Jeremy Paxman: Well I could fatuously say all of them but I could certainly go on about the daft and confusing snow scene, the thoroughly implausible way these people not only do what they do but how they 'assemble' as a team, the oh-I'm-Christoper-so-considerably-cleverer-than-you-are-Nolan backstory about Di Caprio's wife but I'm not going to pick apart the scenes because I'd be here for hours and aside from this only being a half an hour long programme; I simply haven't got the energy left after enduring this nonsense. Besides; everything could be spun by you that you meant this or that but you're just not as deep as you like us to think. Inception is all fur coat and no knickers. It explains so little of what is going on that I left the screening feeling angry. And I generally get these films so it's not a case of me being some moronic fool who struggles to follow the weather…

Christopher Nolan: But you can go too far in explaining things to the viewer and becoming prescriptive…

Jeremy Paxman: Of course I appreciate that you can go too far in explaining every detail to the viewer with unnecessary script mechanics that insult the viewers intelligence. However, although you can go too far in explaining, you can also go too far in NOT explaining and expect the viewer to grasp in a single viewing what is, on paper at least, a massively complex concept film - and one that's so badly flawed in so many areas for it to undermine the whole 'intellectual' nature of it.

Christopher Nolan: So you didn't even like the concept of the film?

Jeremy Paxman: The idea of the film is OK and the film does have its moments but there are so many scenes that don't make sense that it spoils it entirely. I appreciate that 'heist' movies are usually procedural and that you probably wanted to avoid that but in doing so you've created the most self-indulgent picture ever. This is over 120 minutes of my life that I will never ever get back and I simply couldn't wait for the film to end. I had lost all interest in any of the characters, their backstorys or indeed the 'mission' after an hour once I woke up to the fact that you were clearly unable to pull the film together into something coherent and genuinely contemplative. And judging by the rest of the audience and the people I was with, I wasn't the only person who left feeling bitterly cheated.

Christopher Nolan: Is there anything you liked about the production?

Jeremy Paxman: Well I congratulate you on your marketing and for creating hysteria, mass hypnosis, unparalleled and unbased hype because in doing so you have clearly managed to brainwash over half the audience into making them think they've seen a clever and intellectual film.

Christopher Nolan: But don't you think people should go and see it for themselves and make up their own minds?

Jeremy Paxman: Of course you'll say that, you want their filthy lucre but sure; go and see this insidious fluff for a visual experience perhaps but even visually - it's pretty overrated. But don't be surprised viewers if you feel a strange peer group pressure to tell whoever you go to see it with that you understood it all when you probably didn't (or if you did; that you actually cared and that you understood what was understandable in spite of an excruciatingly dumb script).

Christopher Nolan: But fans have been blown away by the twist…

Jeremy Paxman: Oh pull your head out of your backside Nolan, we all saw that "he's still in a dream" ending coming right from the start. And all this 3 layers of a dream crap that then has this twist of - wait for it - a fourth city layer that's supposedly limbo was nonsense.

Christopher Nolan: Well, I've had so much support from movie goers…

Jeremy Paxman: You're seriously expecting me to believe that I should take the word of the brainwashed? There are three type of movie-goers Nolan; dumb people, intelligent people and dumb people who like to feel as though they're intelligent. This movie is aimed at the latter group. Dumb people who like to feel as though they're intelligent are easy to spot. They confuse "complicated" with "complex", "contrived" with "multi-layered", "pretentious" with "thought-provoking" and "vague" with "open to interpretation". Their dumbness prevents them from articulating their arguments, so - with your help Nolan - they have invented a multi-purpose four-word response which they fire off at any and all criticism they may encounter; "You don't get it".

Christopher Nolan: You don't get it…

Jeremy Paxman: I rest my case. Can I ask you, what did you think of Guy Ritchie's film Revolver?

Christopher Nolan: I loved it.

Jeremy Paxman: How did I know you that you would! Well congratulations Christopher, you have just descended to his level of filmmaking. Are you going to make a sequel?

Christopher Nolan: Yes, we've already started writing it…

Jeremy Paxman: And the premise?

Christopher Nolan: Well, it's going to be about a fifth dream layer and in the end, Di Caprio will still be in a dream.

Jeremy Paxman: You're in a dream Nolan. In fact, you're living the dream. At everyone else's expense.

Christopher Nolan: I stand by the movie Jeremy…

Jeremy Paxman: Quite. Now admit it, it's a bag o'shite isn't it?

Christopher Nolan: No, it's an intelligent..

Jeremy Paxman: Bag o'shite.

Christopher Nolan: Absolutely not, it's…

Jeremy Paxman: Steaming pile of turd. Snake oil. Prattling drivel…

Christopher Nolan: Look Paxman, I'm not going to…

Jeremy Paxman: What? Admit that you've pulled off the biggest heist since the Great Train Robbery?

Christopher Nolan: Yes.

Jeremy Paxman: So you have pulled off the biggest heist since the Great Train Robbery…

Christopher Nolan: Look into my eyes Jeremy, don't look around my eyes, look into my eyes, you're in a dream…. this is all a dream…. you love the film…. you love my viral marketing campaign… I am a genius… Inception is "Insanely Brilliant"… it's a multi-layered movie where dreams and reality intermix…. the script is fabulous….

Jeremy Paxman: It's not working dickhead…

Christopher Nolan: You're all sheep, you will bow to my mastery, keep looking into the eyes, don't look around the eyes….

Jeremy Paxman: Christopher….

Christopher Nolan: Yes Jeremy?

Jeremy Paxman: I want you to stay very still for a moment…

Christopher Nolan: Why Jeremy?

Jeremy Paxman: Because I am about to insert this large studio microphone up your left nostril. This isn't a dream Nolan, it's a nightmare. This is Gavin Esler and Kirsty Wark... they're going to hold you down...

Christopher Nolan: Ok, ok. I admit it. I'm a fraud. I've shown utter contempt for the audience and I'm guilty of snickering at anyone who rumbled me.

Jeremy Paxman: Finally. But I am still going to insert this microphone into your nasal cavity for crimes against film making and I am going to do so repeatedly until you rename the film Deception and acknowledge the fact that you couldn't direct traffic...


Jeremy Paxman: Take it you bitch...

And on that bloody and painful yet hugely satisfying bombshell; we concluded the interview.

Next week I'll be interviewing Michael Bay with the help of an electric cattle prod, battery acid and a blowtorch.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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