“What I like about this interpretation of INCEPTION is that it also makes neurological sense. From the perspective of your brain, dreaming and movie-watching are strangely parallel experiences. In fact, one could argue that sitting in a darkened theater and staring at a thriller is the closest one can get to REM sleep with open eyes.”—The neuroscience of Inception.
Every single moment of INCEPTION is a dream. I think that in a couple of years this will become the accepted reading of the film, and differing interpretations will have to be skillfully argued to be even remotely considered. The film makes this clear, and it never holds back the truth from audiences. Some find this idea to be narratively repugnant, since they think that a movie where everything is a dream is a movie without stakes, a movie where the audience is wasting their time.
Except that this is exactly what Nolan is arguing against. The film is a metaphor for the way that Nolan as a director works, and what he’s ultimately saying is that the catharsis found in a dream is as real as the catharsis found in a movie is as real as the catharsis found in life. INCEPTION is about making movies, and cinema is the shared dream that truly interests the director.
”—Devin Faraci brought the correct Inception argument to the internet before I could.
We’re extraordinarily lucky that technology progressed to the point where we could so easily capture and share the stories and legends of mid-century movie stars in those stars’ own words before they’ve all faded away. TCM is the primary instrument of this, with their interview series that they release uncut in audio podcast form. The most recent edition, with Debbie Reynolds, is delightful. The Creative Screenwriting podcast also recently recorded and released a discussion between Eva Marie Saint and Martin Landau at the TCM film festival screening of North by Northwest. It’s beautiful to hear reminisces of being directed by Hitchcock or given dancing instruction by Gene Kelly by the performers themselves, and how fortunate we are that we can now hear them ourselves.
This has a big lesson for those who like to think of their real life as a grand adventure: relative to fiction, real grand adventures tend to have fewer guides, and more randomness in success. Real adventurers must accept huge throws of the dice; even if you do most everything right, most likely some other lucky punk will get most of the praise.
If you want life paths that quickly and reliably reveal your skills, like leveling up in video games, you want artificial worlds like schools, sporting leagues, and corporate fast tracks. You might call such lives adventures, but really they are pretty much the opposite. If you insist instead on adventuring for real, achieving things of real and large consequence against great real obstacles, well then learn to see the glorious nobility of those who try well yet fail.
“I was raised by a single mother. I think the definition of a man’s man has shifted in recent times to this sort of fratty bro, different from the older version, which was aloof and distant—Gary Cooper or Cary Grant or James Bond. Now it’s a little vulgar, kind of lowbrow, adolescent. I’m not that guy. Part of being an adult is treating women like women.”—Just in case you needed another reason to like Jon Hamm.
“In fact, digital technology has already been changing the literary landscape in a more immediate way: it’s allowing new talents to find reading audiences online, through blogs, online publications and social media. Book deals may arrive for these new talents, or in some cases book deals may be an unnecessary afterthought: the relationship between writer and reader can be fully consummated online. This is already forcing a redefinition of what the word ‘writer’ means. Before the Internet age, you were a writer if you got published. Now, you are a writer if you have readers.”—I am a writer, and this is where I write.
This month happens to contain my birthday (July 26, to be exact) and since money is a little tight for me lately, the couple of things I had in mind to gift myself are no longer really justifiable. After all, my daughter’s birthday is ten days after mine and she wants a new bike. :) So, I thought I’d ask my readers, followers, subscribers, etc. - if you enjoy the content I put and organize online, would you consider chipping in for my birthday gift fund? The two items I have picked out are rather inexpensive, so if you could throw only a dollar my way, it would be helpful and I’d be very appreciative. If I only get enough for item one, I’ll get that, and if I get enough for item two I’ll get that.