THE IMPENETRABLE WORLD OF INCEPTION


FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

It’s no rarity for blockbuster Hollywood directors to dream big.

Dreaming big and smart, though, is CHRISTOPHER NOLAN’S specialty.

He elevated the superhero thriller to high art with BATMAN BEGINS. He pushed the bounds of illusion and perception in the thrillers INSOMNIA and THE PRESTIGE.

Now the director is casting audiences into the subconscious of Leonardo DiCaprio and his costars with INCEPTION — essentially, a heist movie taking place in people’s dreams.

The scale, action and visual effects are as grand as those in the biggest summer popcorn flick. INCEPTION also offers tremendous depth in theme, story and characters seldom seen in huge Hollywood spectacles.

“I view the film first and foremost as a large scale thrill ride. That’s what it’s always been intended to be for me,” CHRISTOPHER NOLAN said in an interview.

“If it’s got more interesting ideas in it and whatever, that’s all intended to just rattle around in your brain and make you want to think a little bit more about this world that the film creates. That for me is a lot of fun in a summer blockbuster, really.”

CHRISTOPHER NOLAN and distributor WARNER BROTHERS have played coy about INCEPTION, slowly revealing plot points over time to stoke the imagination of fans.

The movie’s trailers have been artful teases loaded with wild images — a train barreling through traffic down a city street, characters hurtling about the walls and ceiling of a hotel hall in a gravity defying fight scene, a section of Paris tilting up and folding in on itself.

It’s fair to say INCEPTION is the most anticipated original film — something not based on a book, comic, game or other source — since JAMES CAMERON’S AVATAR.

“There’s a lot riding on Inception,” said JOSEPH GORDON LEVITT, who costars as LEO’S right hand man in an operation to sneak into people’s dreams and steal their secrets.

“This is going to really send a very strong signal to the mainstream movie industry that if this movie does really well, you don’t need to have some sort of prepackaged, market researched brand in order to make a big hit. What people really respond to is good storytelling and compelling human drama.”

While Leo’s Dom Cobb makes his living as a corporate raider of the mind, the heart of INCEPTION is centred around a new challenge — planting ideas in people’s subconscious so that they will awaken and act on them as if they were their own. The characters tumble through layers of dreams within dreams, the action challenging them — and the audience — to ponder exactly what is real and what is illusion.

The film also features MARION COTILLARD, ELLEN PAGE and past Nolan collaborators CILLIAN MURPHY, KEN WATANABE and MICHAEL CAINE.

CHRISTOPHER NOLAN said he dreamed up the idea for INCEPTION about a decade ago, as his independent hit MEMENTO was opening studio doors for him.

But the British filmmaker has been toying with how to use dreams in movies since his adolesence.

“I’ve become over the years more and more interested in the creative potential of the mind and the way that every night we’re able to create entire worlds.”

“The idea that you can be completely convinced while you’re asleep that you’re in a real situation and you’ve created this room or whatever and I’ve created you as a person, everything you’re saying I’m putting as words in your mouth, but I feel that I’m hearing them for the first time. That to me suggests infinite potential for human creativity, an infinite mystery to the way the human mind works.”

Such sentiments kind of define the highest aspirations of Hollywood blockbusters, considering the resources that go into them, the director stated.

Hollywood has always been known as the land of dreams, but filmmakers now have technology at their disposal to hurl audiences into worlds approaching the limitless possibilities of their unconscious projections.

“The closest film for me would probably be the first Star Wars that did this for my generation. Create a world not just where you literally forget the world you came from, but you want to lose yourself in that world so much that you watch the film again and again.”

“I really think that that’s when the tools of large scale Hollywood filmmaking are being used to serve their best ends. Really, it’s just creating an alternate reality for people to explore that they could never have imagined themselves. With Inception, that is certainly my attempt to try and do that.”

CHRISTOPHER NOLAN is returning to the franchise that made him a Hollywood heavyweight. His brother is writing the screenplay for a new BATMAN movie. But the director declined to discuss the prospects of an INCEPTION sequel.

“I refuse to answer the question on the grounds that I don’t want to jinx the film. My fingers are crossed and I’m hopeful that the film is going to be a success for the studio, because they really supported me making a film that I’m very, very passionate about. But I’m very, very superstitious.”

He is also a bit incredulous about his climb from unknown indie filmmaker to top Hollywood director. He occasionally wonders if it’s all been a dream.

“At the risk of sounding cheesy and cliche, the truth is: I love what I do and I love my job…and there is an aspect of that being dreamlike. It’s hard for me to credit the fact that I’ve managed to be able to do what I love doing, I mean, even getting paid for it.”

“There’s certainly some weird fear in the back of my mind that I’m going to wake up and find myself back where I started.”

“But at least then I’d have all my scripts worked out.”

4 Responses to “THE IMPENETRABLE WORLD OF INCEPTION”

  1. “At the risk of sounding cheesy and cliche, the truth is: I love what I do and I love my job…and there is an aspect of that being dreamlike. It’s hard for me to credit the fact that I’ve managed to be able to do what I love doing, I mean, even getting paid for it.”

    i’d love for someone to say that they’re not really into movies and it’s something they’re good at. but they’re not ultra in love with film.

    now that would be different…

  2. It would be interesting. But I doubt that will ever happen, honey.

    It’s such a difficult challenging business in many respects that you had better be in love with film if you want to be a successful director – especially if you want to be on the A list.

    It isn’t something that you can fool around with on weekends. Every fibre of your being has to be consumed by it.

    The rewards are astonishingly great. But they don’t generally come without a lot of hard work. Acting’s the same way.

    Nobody hands it to you. You have to be present for it.

  3. Thanks for that, glimster.

    You are too awesome for words, honey.

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