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Inception – A Quick Musing

I’m not going to add to the numerous posts that can be found throughout the Internet. I’m not going to review Inception; suffice to say I enjoyed it; I enjoyed the emotionally flat tone, and enjoyed the how-the-fuck-did-they-film-the-hotel-corridor-scene assault on the mind (I don’t want to know the answer to the latter, thanks). And I was impressed by the fact that a cerebral thriller could be mass marketed so effectively. To have dream-within-a-dream-within-a-dream plots running simultaneously, and to have it work, was satisfying, of course. But I mostly felt as if I might be part of a cinematic paradigm shift: Dear public, these moving pictures can be rather clever, too.

Each time Hollywood unleashes a major SF film, the SF literary blogosphere – in a fine, good-spirited and sub-conscious manner – lurches above the foliage to begin thumping its chest in any number of ways to symbolise a marking of genre territory – that there is much good to be found in our books. And quite right too, it’s all part of the fun. Here are a few interesting chesty-thumps.

More than I’ve noticed for any prior genre movie blockbuster, each of the reviews I’ve seen – from newspapers to blogs – are almost talking about different films from each other. That is to say, each review has interpreted things in a very different way, or found something else on which to hang itself. The opinions are much more disparate than the collective trouncing of the prog-rock-cover-art-inspired Avatar. Perhaps because of the deliberate ambiguity of Christopher Nolan’s script, perhaps his execution (“It’s clever!”; “No, they’re such cheap tricks!”) or perhaps because of the nature of the subject of the film, dreaming, and what it means to each of us. Though, surprisingly, I found one of the best dissections of the reality/dream debate to be found on Yahoo Answers.

That a piece of art invites such a level of reaction says much about the content. This, then, means Inception is good art.

By Mark Newton

Born in 1981, live in the UK. I write about strange things.

10 replies on “Inception – A Quick Musing”

That is pretty good for Yahoo Answers and I’m impressed that they picked up on things like the wedding ring and the kids’ shoes. However, if the end is a dream then so was the beginning so this just establishes consistency within the dream rather than disproving it is a dream.

That said, it obviously isn’t all a dream because a) the top is conclusive and b) that would be stupid.

Cheers Mark

I found the guardian chart more confusing, but that yahoo explanation made a whole lot more sense, talk about detail!

I was thinking about that corridor fight scene in the cinema. I decided it had to be one big hydraulic rotating corridor, for parts of it at least. Must have been awesome fun to film…

I’ve only seen it the once and at the moment I’m convinced it was all a dream. That may change on another viewing though…

It is strange how talking to people about the film i get the impression i have watched something different from what they have.

I also like how if it’s all a dream the director has an excuse for the confusing start/abrupt ending and the weakness of most of the supporting cast. It’s not often a director builds in a defense to excuse these shortcomings.

I’ve only seen Inception once (so far!) but I loved how it raised more questions than it answered. Certainly when we were leaving the cinema, everyone was buzzing and debating the ‘was he still dreaming at the end?’ question. It’s not often a Hollywood film provokes such a reaction and has people talking about it long afterwards. Let’s hope we will see a lot more of this kind of intelligent movie!

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