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Inception (the movie)

Comments on Inception (the movie)

Nihil Loc
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Posted 07/20/10 - 5:41 AM:
Subject: Inception (the movie)
... hmm

Just came back from my second viewing.

I'd say the film takes a vast amount of poetic license and brings to the foreground what makes similar blockbuster films seem a bit silly and unreal after consecutive viewings: the plot dissolves under the massive and blatant weight of contingency.

The team just happens to succeed, when given what we were watching, failure was probably assured by how many things that could've gone wrong in their attempt to plant the idea in Fisher. So there is an impression that the plot just works as a fancy vehicle for action.

But I think its probably the best movie I'll see this year (the most memorable at least).

What do you Couchians think?



libertygrl
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Posted 07/20/10 - 11:22 AM:

i thought it was great. masterful filmmaking, aesthetically breathtaking, poignant and profoundly thought-provoking. and the anti-gravity combat scene was one of the most exhilarating scenes on film.

[ SPOILER ALERT ! ]
the question is did they really succeed, or was it merely wishful thinking on cobb's part? this of course is a device that nolan skillfully employs in his film "memento" (my interpretation of memento can be found here), that of provoking the audience to decide which outcome they find more palatable. a very "lady & the tiger" approach, i love it.
Nihil Loc
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Posted 07/20/10 - 4:06 PM:

lib wrote:
the question is did they really succeed, or was it merely wishful thinking on cobb's part?


[Spoiler Altert Cont!]
Good question! The whole operation seems a miraculous example of luck, which accords well with this alternative of wishful thinking on cobb's part. Does the spinning top cease or keep going?

libertygrl
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Posted 07/26/10 - 6:54 PM:

[Spoiler Altert Cont!]

missing wedding ring at the end removes doubt, or does it?
revolvingdoorproject.net/20...-what-happened-at-the-end/

Edited by libertygrl on 07/26/10 - 9:40 PM
Paul
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Posted 07/26/10 - 8:54 PM:

I thought it was a good idea which was unfortunately badly hindered by some brainless director/editor deciding to make 50% of the movie be annoying gun battles while giving virtually zero background/motivation/development for the characters.

Take the student, for example (I can't remember if her name was even mentioned). She just plunges into a dark criminal underworld and decides to play psychiatrist to a dangerous criminal... yeah right, there's no depth or explanation to her. The rest of the characters except Cobb have even less explanation. Cobb himself is pretty thin too, the only thing you ever learn about him is that he lost his wife.

Inception would probably make a good TV show pilot, but it's too rushed and tries too hard to be typical-action-movie with the shooting. It's not bad but it's not what it could have been.

Nihil Loc wrote:
But I think its probably the best movie I'll see this year (the most memorable at least).


I've seen two movies this year, Inception and Shutter Island. Both worthwhile but Shutter Island was way better and much more original.

Edited by Paul on 07/26/10 - 9:03 PM
libertygrl
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Posted 07/26/10 - 9:39 PM:

i agree shutter island was much better, it's currently my most favorite movie of all time
Nihil Loc
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Posted 07/27/10 - 1:16 AM:

Ah... hmm

I thought Inception was something special...

Sad that the movie isn't going to make back its 200 million production cost.

Shutter Island didn't have that extra sci fi flare (corporate competition and extraction technology).

I do admit though, even after first showing of Inception, there was a feeling of an existential emptiness conveyed by the film (which I kind of like). The solipsism of the Mall bleeds into Cobb. To believe the whole thing is a dream (fantastical) sort of makes us numb to need for plausibility.



Edited by Nihil Loc on 07/27/10 - 1:29 AM
Thinker13
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Posted 07/27/10 - 5:25 AM:

DREAMS

On Saturday, I went to watch ‘INCEPTION’ . It seems to be the best movie I have ever watched and am compelled to write about the same.

Dreams have fascinated humans since eons. They have also been used in divination. Dream interpretation as used by Freud and others, was considered a tool of the psychoanalysis. I have also been fond of discussions involving dreams, especially, the ones which were somehow related to the ultimate reality. I also had a dream journal for a while. The first law of behavioral Psychology suggests that you get more of what you reinforce; therefore, if you reinforce the behavior of recalling your dreams, interpreting them, describing them; you are, reinforcing the behavior of becoming more perceptive of your dreams and vice versa.

There is a boundary between the conscious and subconscious of your mind. The more sensitive and artistic a mind becomes, thinner the boundaries are. For me, the behavior of compulsive scribbling has been associated very highly with the thinning of the boundary. One of the very direct corroboration for the same had been the amount of the details related to dreams recalled, vividness of the same(they both are related you know!) and richness of the details. As I used to scribble of longer hours, there was a perspicuous thinning of the boundary between conscious and subconscious.

A few years ago, a nice noon, I scribbled a lot and then went to sleep for some time. I had a very strange dream then: I was watching a dream and then I woke up and felt great but then after sometime I again woke up(to my present reality)—gotcha! It was a strange perception, a very novel one, really dramatic and eerie and the ground for propounding a new theory. It was the first instance of my recognizing a ‘Dream inside dream’. Not that I would never have had such dreams earlier; not that none of us have such dreams; not that I never had such dreams again;- but that first recognition of the phenomenon was a perception, very original to me, in the sense that I had never read about the same, never read about the same earlier.


So the idea is: we all watch ‘Dreams inside Dreams’ but very few of us recognize them to be so. There are many reasons for the same. Forgetting your dreams being one of them.




Thinker13
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Posted 07/27/10 - 5:27 AM:

Theory based on Dreams inside dreams

What I proposed using this phenomenon was a brief but pregnant(it seemed so, at that time!) theory; not new at all to eastern mysticism but somewhat new to the researchers on dreams. If you could see, dream inside dream, then, it may reach to any number of levels. Again: just because you were in a dream I and then woke up in a dream II, you came to the conclusion that it was a dream inside dream; likewise, it is very much possible that, you may wake up to another reality and find this reality of yours to be a dream.


A Zen story

Once Zhuangzi dreamt he was a butterfly, a butterfly flitting and fluttering around, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. He didn't know he was Zhuangzi. Suddenly he woke up and there he was, solid and unmistakable Zhuangzi. But he didn't know if he was Zhuangzi who had dreamt he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming he was Zhuangzi. Between Zhuangzi and a butterfly there must be some distinction! This is called the Transformation of Things. (2, tr. Burton Watson 1968:49)
Thinker13
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Posted 07/27/10 - 5:28 AM:

THE ILLUSION OF TIME

Time is an illusion and it is bound to the order of reality you are in. If you have already watched the movie, you may realize well that in the different levels of the dreams inside dreams, the time span differs. It is a common experience that we can see so many dreams with -in a short cycle of REM(rapid eye movement) of twenty minutes. In fact, there are many REM cycles in which we create our dreams. As you go to bed, your REM cycles are smaller in span. After every ninety minutes you have REM cycles. Only in these REM cycles you are likely to see a dream. As the time in bed passes by, the span of the REM cycles becomes more and more. In the final spans of REM(which are about twenty minutes)-you are likely to see the biggest dreams. Since these come usually when you are about to wake up. i.e. near morning; you recall most the dreams seen in morning and you may report the most details about them.

So in a dream of about twenty minutes you may see attending an examination, going on a trip, spending a day and so on. This suggests that our mind functions as a super-genius in the dreams. Can we harness that potential in this reality of ours?


Is It A Dream?

Only when you wake up from a dream, you report that it was a dream(and not while in a dream). It is so because you compare your dream events with those of this reality. The fact is: the events in your dream were fully real when you were in your dream. Similarly, if you wake up to a hyper reality, this reality of yours, will be merely a dream. You say that you can see your friends, your family, your workplace, everyday; that there is a consistency in this universe of yours; therefore, it is not a dream, but rather a reality. Is this a proof? No it is not because you have seen by analogy that until you are in a dream you cannot perceive it as a dream.
Thinker13
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Posted 07/27/10 - 5:29 AM:

ANALOGY OF TV SCREEN

Assume that you are watching television and inside your TV screen you see another TV which is showing another TV and so and so on. This may go on to the infinity. Similarly, if you are in a saloon where there are two mirrors facing each other, then, there will be number of images(perhaps infinite but you will be witnessing only a few of them, as it becomes, impossible to see further images). So effectively, you are(in your reality) watching only one TV screen(or one mirror screen), but virtually it seems that you are watching many. Same stands true for dreams: If you are witnessing a dream, which was, inside another dream, then, in effect, you have seen only a dream and you were involved, in some act(in this case, that of dreaming, but may be that of eating, sleeping, walking, moon-walking, chirping, or whatever echo of waking state possible) –therefore, you had, only a dream.



CONTRADICTION?

Can you say, with some emphasis that “you have no right to say that this reality of mine is merely a dream?”

You may say: “the very act of dreaming; the way I define it and address it, is dependent upon, this reality of mine, therefore, as I have no hyper-reality against which to treat this reality as a dream, I cannot accept that this reality is but merely a dream.”


To be honest-your argument is quite valid and only based on the analogy of the dream inside dream we can propose that this reality is but a dream. Just because of this order of reality, you are able to say that the dream(and dreams further inside dreams) are illusory, therefore, if there exists another order of reality, hyper to this one; you may say that this reality of yours is merely a dream; a beautiful dream, a nightmare, a rut or whatever but a dream only.
Thinker13
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Posted 07/27/10 - 5:31 AM:

Movies by Christoher Nolan are really excellent and some -how almost all of his movies I like. In fact my all time favorites have three movies by him.

These are:

Inception.
Memento.
The Prestige.
Thinker13
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Posted 07/27/10 - 7:16 AM:

I do not like 'Shutter Island' at all. 'Fight Club' and 'The Machinist' seem to be the better movies compared to the Shutter Island.
Thinker13
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Posted 07/27/10 - 7:18 AM:

I thought Inception was something special...


Inception is something special in my opinion Nihil.smiling face



Shutter Island didn't have that extra sci fi flare (corporate competition and extraction technology).


Agreed.

I do admit though, even after first showing of Inception, there was a feeling of an existential emptiness conveyed by the film (which I kind of like). The solipsism of the Mall bleeds into Cobb. To believe the whole thing is a dream (fantastical) sort of makes us numb to need for plausibility.


Much like Mayavadins.
praxis
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Posted 07/28/10 - 2:57 PM:

Agree with Paul. Maybe that's just what you have to do for a Hollywood blockbuster though.

What I liked about the film was the blurred feeling between being awake and asleep.
Nihil Loc
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Posted 07/30/10 - 5:52 PM:

Just to give a (some) poetic impression(s) of what I feel about Inception.

A House of Cards

What is more chaotic, delicate and or fickle than a dream?

There is the illusion of linearity (dream logic) that two and more minds may share, but what makes for the solid ground of the dream for such a shared linear event to be possible (a designed city with shared physics and separate dreamers)? Why doesn't the unexpected happen (they accidentally fall and go into limbo due to a random impulse of nerves a total explosion of a new narrative?) Nothing derails the goal in a medium of non-linearity (beside Cobb's obsessions).

We have to prune away the widely understood character of the dream, give it some leniency for appreciating the movie.

I think the brain spontaneously tries to incorporate random bodily sensations by reconfiguring what is going on in your dream and this happens instantaneously... (IOW, dreams can have the illusion a length of time while major plot events and new narratives are precipitated by uncontrollable sensation.)

Thus one approaches the dull notion, left open at the end of the film, that the whole viewed narrative is an instantaneous weaving induced by complex sensations (a dream) that nonetheless has a logic to it. It makes sense as far as we choose to define the rules in favor or not so much in favor of the film.

Also, why stack the physics of the dream worlds in such as way, that a context of motion is always felt (falling in a van) across all dreams and yet have origin not in the physical world but in a just one of the stacked dreams. Take for example: "I'm having two dreams simultaneously but am conscious of only one at the moment." Why doesn't a contingent sensation in the unconscious one (the vibration of a bullet or a high speed car bump) cause a variation in the conscious dream? Why are the kicks so cut and dried (easily controlled).

Depending on the person, any drastic change in their dream, may act as a kick, in either waking the person or causing the narrative of the dream to change in a radical way.

____________

The dream is a kaleidoscope or a house of cards. You can't walk in it, unless it walks you in it.


Edited by Nihil Loc on 07/30/10 - 5:57 PM
libertygrl
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Posted 08/10/10 - 11:53 AM:

Nihil Loc wrote:
What is more chaotic, delicate and or fickle than a dream?

another interpretation of inception which may interest you:

www.chud.com/articles/artic...ET-OF-INCEPTION/Page1.html
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Posted 08/11/10 - 12:26 AM:

Just saw the movie. I thought it was really coolclap. I wouldn't compare this movie with other Nolan movies. After all, it's about dreams.
I don't know what to say about it. Overall the movie was goodthumb up. BUt, it kinda bothered me that Nolan put everything to pressing a fancy button inside a suitcase thumb down... I'll brood over the film and maybe post some babble...
Thinker13
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Posted 08/11/10 - 12:43 AM:

Yesterday I had my second viewing of the movie. I still feel that it is the best movie I have ever seen.
Nihil Loc
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Posted 08/13/10 - 2:54 AM:

Lib wrote:
another interpretation of inception which may interest you:

www.chud.com/articles/artic...ET-OF-INCEPTION/Page1.html


Devin Faracl wrote:
The movies-as-dreams aspect is part of why Inception keeps the dreams so grounded. In the film it's explained that playing with the dream too much alerts the dreamer to the falseness around him; this is just another version of the suspension of disbelief upon which all films hinge. As soon as the audience is pulled out of the movie by some element - an implausible scene, a ludicrous line, a poor performance - it's possible that the cinematic dream spell is broken completely, and they're lost.


I think the more I'd watch the movie the more I'd feel the spell is broken.

Interesting take on how the extraction team are envisioned as a parallel of a movie production team (Nolan's own creative process).
libertygrl
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Posted 01/26/11 - 12:02 AM:

now that it's out on DVD, i've watched it several more times (in spanish & french even). i don't think it's spell can be broken! for me at least. i've since read a lot more theories & interpretations of the film.

praxis wrote:
What I liked about the film was the blurred feeling between being awake and asleep.

thinker wrote:
you may wake up to another reality and find this reality of yours to be a dream

one school of thought is that the whole story is a dream from start to finish - that dom was dreaming the entire time. that idea is growing on me, i have to say. meanwhile, entertaining other possibilities is still, well... entertaining.
libertygrl
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Posted 01/26/11 - 12:14 AM:

thinker wrote:
Inception.
Memento.
The Prestige.

these are my favorite nolan films as well. the prestige was good but not as artfully crafted as memento & inception IMO. non-linear timelines make for the best storytelling! meanwhile, i thought the themes of the dark knight were excellent and thought-provoking, but the film itself was a little too long. the bit about two-face dragged it out too much, unnecessarily, i thought.
b.mellow
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Posted 01/28/11 - 12:56 AM:

I love Inception. Great, great movie; I was absolutely blown away.

My favorite element is the idea of how deeply and simply an idea can take root, deep within the subconscious, and it can become a driving force in life, one through which all other information is filtered. If someone hasn't done mind-expanding drugs, this movie may be the closest they can come to feeling it. The power with which Mol knew it was a all a dream they had to escape from, even though it was real - it was both scary and brilliant. It showed how fragile is our grasp on reality, how easily our mental constructs can be shaken. How perception becomes reality. And perhaps, how dangerous it can be to tamper with our psyches at such a fundamental level.
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Posted 01/28/11 - 1:00 AM:

My favorite Nolan movies are The Dark Knight and Inception. Memento is very clever, but is hurt by a poor acting performance by Guy Ritchie, and even though I'm a Christian Bale fan, his poor acting had me figuring out the twist in the Prestige about half-way through. Plus it's no fun to introduce actual magic into a realism-heavy mystery story; it takes all the fun out of it.


libertygrl
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Posted 01/28/11 - 10:52 AM:

it's guy pearce in inception. i remembered liking him in "LA confidential"; i thought he was alright. he conveyed the necessary sense of hapless vindictiveness IMO. who do you think might have been better in the role?
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