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  1. #1
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    Default CBR: Permanent Damage - Aug 4, 2010

    Steven Grant returns to CBR to help divine the absolutely true real truth about "Inception." Plus: some praise for this year's Comic-Con, a few words about "Ditkomania" and a call to kill the coming new draft.


    Full article here.

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    Veteran Member Retro315's Avatar
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    Absolutely correct.

    I first realized that all his "accomplices" in the heist were constructs when I realized just who they were. Each character represents an aspect of his psyche - but more than that, they take on the characteristics of his interests.

    Arthur is the key to the "heist" scene, in the "office building". True to form, he dresses like a 1930's bank robber. Like John Dillinger or something.

    Yves is the key to the "assault" scene. He's like a carbon copy of an American's James Bond fantasy - he's good looking and a perfect action hero, but like the cultural representation you also find in the States ... he's also slightly effeminate - a constant thing you tend to hear about Brits over here.

    Ariadne? Honestly ... do you know anyone in real life who serves as your own personal conscience?

    That isn't to say they aren't involved in shared dreaming at the behest of Miles in the "real world" somewhere. Because Arthur's love of slick, Ocean's Eleven capers ... Yves love of James Bond ... and Ariadne's love of ... I don't know ... Harry Potter-style "finding new things while exploring seemingly normal places" and the typical "nosey girl" cliche ... could be constructs of their own making, being broadcast into Cobb's experience. But it seems more likely that they're characters Cobb created himself. In real dreams ... people tend to be amalgamations or blurs of multiple people you really know.

    Each of them fits that description. Even Saito.
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    Certainly fits. The movie certainly raises the question of whether it was ALL a dream, but the kids are wearing different clothes in the last scene. I hadn't connected all the dots but had much the same idea.

    "the rules" constantly reiterated not only as an expositional gimmick for the audience but to constantly reinforce them in Cobb's mind.
    Sounds like something Nolan would do. Remember Sammy Jankis?

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    ... It used to be that genuinely good looking women would only be at the Con if they were with their boyfriends/husbands, reluctantly, or if they were in the business, and even then it was often only in the company of their boyfriends/husbands. Now they're everywhere, in packs or singly, and they seem thrilled to be there. That may seem a shallow observation, but that's big progress in my book. ...
    Jesus, you mean there are finally some available hot chicks at this geek fest and yet they're still to busy sticking each other in the face with Sharpies!

    Are you sure they weren't there (as part of the side show) for the Vivid Batman XXX panel discussion?

    I'm joking here of course... but since I brought it up... was that Vivid company there?

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    Absolutly fasinating theory! I can't agree or disagree because it's been a few weeks since I've seen it but now I'm itching to watch it again. Great article.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drusilla lives! View Post
    Jesus, you mean there are finally some available hot chicks at this geek fest and yet they're still to busy sticking each other in the face with Sharpies!

    Are you sure they weren't there (as part of the side show) for the Vivid Batman XXX panel discussion?

    I'm joking here of course... but since I brought it up... was that Vivid company there?
    Not that I saw, but Batman XXX isn't from Vivid...

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    Do you mean you didn't see any representation what-so-ever from the "adult" entertainment industry at comic con this year... or just not from Vivid?

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    Senior Member Trey's Avatar
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    Nah....its pretty clear that its not all a dream.

    All your "evidence" was not presented on the screen. Miles was not conducting the dreams, we clearly see the device used for inception on Saito and Fisher and Ariadne. Cobb really is a mind thief. He really does put together a heist team. Saito really does hire him.
    He really defeats Mal and is able to finish the job. He wins in the dream world and then wins in the real world.

    His accomplices were not constructs, they choose to appear that way because of their roles. How would a pick-pocket appear? The chemist certainly doesn't fit an archetype that i can recall.

    The impact/theme of the film lies solely on the concept of conscious and subconscious. And our ability to traverse and control and explore and shape the dream side. Remove one and it all falls apart.

    There is no point of showing 98% dream and 2% reality.

    One other thing. The dreams are not like our dreams because they are controlled and shaped by the dreamnaut. The easier to accomplish the mission.
    Nolan is far more interested in procedure rather than fancy or randomness.
    Last edited by Trey; 08-04-2010 at 03:36 PM.
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    Pangalactic Gargleblaster W0NK042's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trey View Post
    Nah....its pretty clear that its not all a dream.

    All your "evidence" was not presented on the screen. Miles was not conducting the dreams, we clearly see the device used for inception on Saito and Fisher and Ariadne. Cobb really is a mind thief. He really does put together a heist team. Saito really does hire him.
    He really defeats Mal and is able to finish the job. He wins in the dream world and then wins in the real world.

    His accomplices were not constructs, they choose to appear that way because of their roles. How would a pick-pocket appear? The chemist certainly doesn't fit an archetype that i can recall.

    The impact/theme of the film lies solely on the concept of conscious and subconscious. And our ability to traverse and control and explore and shape the dream side. Remove one and it all falls apart.

    There is no point of showing 98% dream and 2% reality.

    One other thing. The dreams are not like our dreams because they are controlled and shaped by the dreamnaut. The easier to accomplish the mission.
    Nolan is far more interested in procedure rather than fancy or randomness.
    Why? Who is to tell what is dream & what is reality. (& yes, I don't just mean in the film).
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    Quote Originally Posted by W0NK042 View Post
    Why? Who is to tell what is dream & what is reality. (& yes, I don't just mean in the film).
    Well... me, mainly...

    - Grant

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    Veteran Member Retro315's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trey View Post
    His accomplices were not constructs, they choose to appear that way because of their roles. How would a pick-pocket appear? The chemist certainly doesn't fit an archetype that i can recall.
    Nothing random about it ... but if Nolan was that interested in procedure ... wouldn't we have learned HOW the "Briefcase Dream Machine" works? They never give it a moment of mention. It's a deus ex machina device. It just works because it works. And that seems like dream logic.

    But the chemist fits plenty of archetypes. He's The Alchemist, or The Mad Scientist. His potions, and indeed the fact that he's one of only two non-white people in Cobb's subconscious could indicate the concept that drugs/potions are something "exotic and foreign in nature".

    And the people chasing Cobb in the real world? That "mysterious organization" that also never gets any explanation? Immediately they bring to mind the "anti-intrusion" projections of the subconscious, turning on whoever doesn't belong in the dream. People are trying to kill him ... because it's his own mind trying to get him to wake up.

    Now, I think whether the final scene is a dream or not is up for interpretation. The fact that it's the most dreamlike is kind of strange in a movie where the dreams themselves are fairly realistic, down-to-earth places (on purpose, to make them believable for the dreamer). That could indicate that it's Cobb's pure dreaming, with nobody else from the "group session" in there (except maybe Miles) to ground it in realism. And the fact is - the totem, whether it's his or Mal's - did falter. It was about to skip around and fall down. So while he never wakes up for us, it's implied that he IS about to wake up, and he'll be whole again without the guilt (and can look his children in their faces, finally). It doesn't invalidate the catharsis, I don't think, for those who read way deeper into it. It just shifts the weight of it.

    I've got little else to go on about regarding Inception. I think my two posts cover it. It's actually a pretty straightforward movie for Nolan - what makes it "better, in some ways" than some of his previous films for me, is the cast. Because between DiCaprio, Gordon-Levitt, Page and Hardy, we really are looking at "the future of great actors, today". (Then there's that pang where you're like ... hell, Ledger would've been counted in that group, too).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro315 View Post

    And the people chasing Cobb in the real world? That "mysterious organization" that also never gets any explanation? Immediately they bring to mind the "anti-intrusion" projections of the subconscious, turning on whoever doesn't belong in the dream. People are trying to kill him ... because it's his own mind trying to get him to wake up.
    They're not mysterious. They're his unhappy previous employer. The ones that hired him to steal from Saito. He states that failure is not an option with these people, so they're looking for him.

    Projections never turned against the one creating them during the entire movie. Why would Cobb's? The projections fight what's out of place. He's not out of place in his own dream.

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    Crusader of Justice dancj's Avatar
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    I finally got around to watching Inception so I'll raise this thread from the dead.

    I like your take Steven, but I'm not sure I agree. It seems to rely on too many assumptions - I'll have to watch it again with that in mind.

    My take on this film was that either

    1 - The "real" scenes in the film are actually real - except for the waking up at the end. By this stage he's trapped in his own dream-state.

    and

    2 - (My preferred theory). The whole film was a dream. His wife was right. When she "killed" herself she was actually waking herself up and he was stuck in the dream without realising it.

    In either theory the fact that the kids faces are seen at the end show, not that he's in the real world, but that he's accepted this real world as his true reality and is no longer fighting it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trey View Post
    Nah....its pretty clear that its not all a dream.
    I would have claimed the end was a dream, but Grant's take on the film works - why would you cast Michael Caine in that role, and why would he agree, if you didn't want special focus on the character?
    That part had been annoying the heck out of me, but with Grant's take, it makes perfect sense.
    All your "evidence" was not presented on the screen. Miles was not conducting the dreams, we clearly see the device used for inception on Saito and Fisher and Ariadne. Cobb really is a mind thief. He really does put together a heist team. Saito really does hire him.
    He really defeats Mal and is able to finish the job. He wins in the dream world and then wins in the real world.
    So even ignoring the theory that it's all a dream, you then believe that the ending is set in reality?
    Which is exactly like his memory of the last time he saw them?

    If it's not all in a dream, with the last part either being reality, or at least a representation of his return to happiness, then he must still be trapped in the dream.
    His accomplices were not constructs, they choose to appear that way because of their roles. How would a pick-pocket appear? The chemist certainly doesn't fit an archetype that i can recall.
    Weird they have no lives outside of their assigned roles in the film.

    The impact/theme of the film lies solely on the concept of conscious and subconscious. And our ability to traverse and control and explore and shape the dream side. Remove one and it all falls apart.
    But Grant's take doesn't remove anything - it fits right in to that.

    There is no point of showing 98% dream and 2% reality.
    Don't tell that to David Lynch.

    Or to Christopher Nolan, who lists Lost Highway in his personal list of top ten thrillers, mainly because it all feels realistic whilst you watch it, but when you try and remember it, it's like trying to remember a dream.
    (That's from an Empire magazine article from around the time of Insomnia - not sure where online).

    One other thing. The dreams are not like our dreams because they are controlled and shaped by the dreamnaut. The easier to accomplish the mission.
    You don't think that the logic of dreams there doesn't sound like dream logic?

    Again, go back to Lynch if you like - the first half of Muholland Drive feels much more real in the way it's presented, yet it's the dream, and the trippy second part is the reality.

    Nolan is far more interested in procedure rather than fancy or randomness.
    Well, Steven's take isn't really fancy or randomness, it clearly follows the logic laid out in the film.
    On top of that, I'm not quite sure what in his films would give you the idea Nolan is interested in 'procedure'.
    Besides Batman, all of his films are more than their plots.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thad View Post
    Remember Sammy Jankis?
    Yes, but remember what about Sammy Jankis?

    - Grant

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