August 26, 2010

Get Deep Into Inception

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Follow the levels of conversation between Greg Cohn (G.S.C.) and Graham Corrigan (G.C.) to see if there is any substance to this Summer 2010 blockbuster, or if it better serves as high action and high entertainment popcorn fare.

Greg Cohn: One of my least favorite things in this world is an arrogant film critic — Graham, for instance. He says Inception is about making movies — Cobb’s the director, Ariadne’s the screenwriter, and Christopher Nolan is the second coming of Christ. This is wrong. The movie is not a metaphor for making movies—that’s not the point. And if it was the point, then that’s a stupid point. Inception was a labyrinthine masterpiece, probably one of the best movies of the decade, but it’s not about making movies.

Graham Corrigan: It’s cute when people like you try to argue about something they know nothing about. This is coming from the same guy who habitually dons a full-body penguin suit to “pick up hardbodies.” Inception was really the only watchable movie of Summer 2010, so we should give it the analytical attention it deserves rather than discarding it as another pretty piece of Hollywood trash. While Leo wasn’t really the right leading man for the role (he’s not an action star — we like seeing DiCaprio with mental rather than physical anguish), he understood the role and carried the movie well enough with a husky-voiced ferocity.

G.S.C.: DiCaprio’s acting runs parallel to Smalls’ baseball career in The Sandlot. He’s come a long way from the smooth-faced Gilbert Grape days. Leo’s been the man since The Departed, and wasn’t terrible in Shutter Island either. But we were arguing about whether or not Inception is about making movies. The metaphor fits nicely, but so does a brassiere on GC’s fat boobs. My point is that the movie is fantastic, but as soon as you start playing dress up with deeper meanings and such, you lose some sex appeal.

G.C.: They’re not fat, man. You know I’m sensitive about that.

G.S.C.: Yea, and I’m sensing your sisters are all jealous of you.

G.C.: Nolan is one of the only filmmakers around today who can actually handle a massive budget without losing his story in all the flashbulbs. Since Memento, he’s provided us with introspective stories that can be appreciated both commercially and artistically. Inception continues the trend, and while the intimate character study of Cobb clashes somewhat with Nolan’s video gamey sequences (I’m pretty sure that Arctic shootout was lifted directly from Call of Duty), the heady discussions on dreams and multiple levels of reality have validated themselves simply with the sheer mass of discussion they’ve generated. If people are talking, you did something right. Films are an escape, a fantasy world where we become involved with people, places and emotions that do not exist in waking life — a dream.

G.S.C.: Fuck you.

G.C.:  Real mature. Inception is the only must-see film of the summer. The cast survives on a series of sly smirks and snappy suits, bringing 1920s gangster cool back to the big screen. It takes dream-talk very seriously, and while these heady complexities sometimes fall flat (the murky horror of “limbo” never really materializes), the maze goes deep enough that we happily surrender to Nolan’s gorgeous cinematography on all its levels.

Original Author: Graham Corrigan