Inception

  • Title:  Inception
  • Director:  Christopher Nolan
  • Date:  2010
  • Studio:  Warner Brothers
  • Genre:  SF, Action, Suspense
  • Cast:  Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, Marion Cotillard, Michael Caine
  • Format:  Color, Widescreen
  • DVD Format:  R1, NTSC

“What is the most resilient parasite?  A bacteria, a virus, an intestinal worm? … An idea. Resilient, highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold in the brain – it’s almost impossible to eradicate. An idea that is fully formed, fully understood, that sticks.”  – Cobb

“Do you want to take a leap of faith? Or become an old man – filled with regret, waiting to die alone?” – Saito

“It’s the chance to build cathedrals, entire cities, things that never existed, things that couldn’t exist in the real world.” – Cobb

Inception is a film about dreams, but it is not the typical film about dreams – such as the person who dreams of being a famous musician then becomes one, or the young man who dreams of becoming a professional sports player – then makes his dream come true.  This film is literally about dreams, and as such, the entire film is a commentary on films themselves.  But for all the meta implications, it’s not a nod-nod-wink-wink type of film that pokes fun at anything.  Rather it suggests a type of caper film, though the caper doesn’t take place in the physical world at all.

Cobb (DiCaprio) and Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) are professional extractors – men who, for a price, will enter a person’s dreams to steal information, often as a form of corporate espionage. However, in this case, when their plans don’t quite work out, the man they are trying to steal from instead hires the two for Inception – the concept of planting an idea in someone’s head, so that they themselves believe that they came up with the idea – themselves.  Like many other caper films, after some debate among themselves, Cobb and Arthur agree to perform the crime – Arthur, because he knows the corporation that hired them in the first place will kill them for being unsuccessful, and Cobb because he’s a wanted man – and Saito has promised to make his charges go away so he can return home and to his own children, if he’s successful.

Cobb and Arthur to find their crew for this special job:  a chemist – to create a special sedative to put the victim under during the crime, Eames – a spy and con-man – to gather information on the victim, an architect – to build the triple-layered dream world, Arthur, and Cobb.  Their architect is Ariadne, a young student of Miles – Cobb’s old teacher, and the grandfather of his children – Phillipa and James.  Arthur and Cobb train Ariadne in shared dreaming.  Cobb finds the chemist and an old friend who becomes their spy and investigator.

The “heist” involves getting Fischer – the victim – on a ten hour flight, slipping him a mickey, then entering his dreams.  The dream will be three layers or levels deep, and at each stage, the crew – specifically Cobb and Arthur (with some assistance from Eames) work different angles into their con to convince Fischer Jr that he should break-up and sell his father’s near monopoly energy company so he can become his own man by building something new.  In the end, Cobb and Ariadne end-up going to a fourth level – Limbo, or the subconscious – for two reasons, for Saito – who was shot in the first level of the dream, then died in the third level (normally dying in a dream would wake up the dreamer – but not when under sedation) and so Cobb can confront his dead wife, Mal – who’s been haunting him throughout the film.  In fact, as the film goes on – it becomes less about the plot to convince Fischer Jr to break-up his father’s company, and more about the question of Mal and Cobb and just what happened between them.

Inception is also circular in nature. The film opens with Cobb washed up on a beach, captured by Asian gunmen, and taken to a wealthy, older Asian man. We will learn this is Saito, who has lived for years in his subconscious world, because time moves differently in the dream world as to the real world. The film, at the end circles back to Cobb on the beach, and Cobb confronting the Asian man. But then the film adds a couple of scenes at the end that leave the film mysterious and open-ended.

The second major point about the film, Inception, and the reason I can watch it over and over again, is it is visually stunning.  Where else would you see roads folding in on themselves? An endless staircase? A freight train moving through a crowded downtown city street? Or the vanishing point of a set being revealed as a mirror, then being moved by a character to form an infinity box?  Yet these impossible scenes, rather than breaking the fourth wall in the traditional sense, are used to clearly show that a particular moment which seemed “real” is actually part of a dream – so they fit into the larger world of the film.  It is truly a visual masterpiece of film.

Recommendation:  Must see!
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Next Film:  Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind or Memento

Spreading the Word – HitRecord – Home

hitrecordjoe:


CALLING ALL ARTISTS!

Our next potential theme for Season 2 of HITRECORD ON TV is RE: Home – RECord your thoughts, write a story, draw a picture, or make a song regarding this theme.

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ALL ARTISTS: Write a story, draw a picture, or make a song regarding this theme.

EVERYONE W/ A CAMERARECord a video testimonial regarding this theme, or specifically answer:

  • “What do you consider to be Home? Is it a place? Is it people? Tell us about your Home.”
  • “Are you currently away from Home? What is that experience like? Be specific.”
  • “What are some of the hometown values that are unique to where you are from? Are you defined by your hometown? Why or why not?”
  • “Does your hometown have a particular accent? Do a demonstration of it.”
  • “What smells or other sensory elements remind you of your Home?”
  • “Who lives in your Home?”
  • “Have you ever chosen to live a nomadic lifestyle?”
  • “Do you have any experience with Homelessness?”
  • “Have you ever run away from Home? Tell us about it.”

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Contribute to the “RE: HOME” collab HERE!

From Bitch With Wi-Fi:   Joseph Gordon-Levitt, has created an organization to encourage kids, teens, and young people to be creative – to get out there and just do it (no nod to Nike intended), his organization encourages kids to participate in art and music – to hit record and go, without criticizing themselves or trying to be perfect.  It’s a damn fine idea!

I will periodically cross-post (reblog) HitRecord posts from Tumblr.  This is the most recent.

The topic is Home.

This is a good topic too.

Spreading the Word – HitRecord – Language

hitrecordjoe:

CALLING ALL ARTISTS!

Our next potential theme for Season 2 of HITRECORD ON TV is RE: Language – RECord your thoughts, write a story, draw a picture, or make a song regarding this theme.

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ALL ARTISTS: Write a story, draw a picture, or make a song regarding this theme.

EVERYONE W/ A CAMERARECord a video testimonial regarding this theme, or specifically answer:

  • “Is Language unique to us humans? Or do other animals have their own Language? Be specific.”
  • “Is Language instinctual? Or is it learned and influenced by culture? And how does it affect our culture – does it change the way we think?”
  • “What do you think is so special about standard American English? Do you think it is superior to other dialects? Please give examples.”
  • “What are your thoughts on Profanity and its uses? Be specific.”
  • “Do you speak any Foreign Languages? How have Language Barriers affected you with regards to communication? Tell us a story.”

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Contribute to the “RE: LANGUAGE” collab HERE!

I really need to write an essay for this. I love linguistics, language, and the varieties of English.

Spreading the Word – HitRecord – School

hitrecordjoe:

CALLING ALL ARTISTS!

I’m starting a collaboration RE: SCHOOL, which will be a potential theme for one of our Season 2 episodes – RECord your thoughts, write a story, draw a picture, or make a song regarding this theme.

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ALL ARTISTS: Write a story, draw a picture, or make a song regarding this theme.

EVERYONE W/ A CAMERARECord a video testimonial regarding this theme, or specifically answer:

  • “Did you ever have an embarassing moment at school? Be as specific as possible.”
  • “Do you have a particular memory or story from a first day at school?”
  • “What was your experience like going to – or not going to – Prom?”
  • “What are your thoughts regarding Grades? What kind of an impact did they have on your academic career?”
  • “Do you have any experience dropping out of school? What was it like and how did it affect you?”
  • “What are your Teachers like outside of school?”
  • “How does School fit into our cultural expectations of what our lives are supposed to be?”
  • “Do you have any opinions or stories on the Social Classes within School (like Jocks, Nerds, Goths, etc.)?”
  • “What have you learned from the School of Hard Knocks?”

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Contribute to the “RE: SCHOOL” collab HERE!