Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Lecture: Between the Lines: Inception

Christopher Nolan what I would characterize as a “puzzle director.” His movies are stories that require active reasoning, rather than simply passive absorption. They're populated by recursive realities, prismatic narratives, and characters that double back in on themselves until they become something else entirely.

He’s doubtlessly one of the most clever Hollywood filmmakers working today.  If you need any evidence of this, you need only watch his latest film, Interstellar, for evidence of what he’s capable of at the peak of his abilities.  He’s deftly managed to make some very good, very profitable films from within the black soul of the Hollywood machine.

One of the British auteur’s most divisive films remains 2010’s mind-heist movie “Inception,” a cool, cerebral head trip of a movie played in Nolan’s signature minor key. Some folks dug Nolan’s pastiche of shifting realities and exposition-heavy action sequences, others thought his attempt at a Hollywood art flick was pure fooey.

A common criticism leveled at Nolan’s film is that, despite being a movie about dreams, it doesn’t feel very dreamlike: that Nolan, as a filmmaker, is too practical and rational to make a great, untethered dream movie. A new video has landed online courtesy of No Film School examining the layers of dream logic and elements of possible homage in “Inception,” and there’s a lot here to dig into.

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