Was it all a dream? Or was it actually a multi-layered, complicated love letter to surrealist film?
Inception is just one of those movies that is fun to pick apart and analyze because it is so layered. We've even covered a separate analysis of the film by one of our favorite video essayists Darren Foley, so clearly this is one of those films that many have tried to decode, decipher, and deconstruct.
But this analysis by Kyle Kallgren of Brows Held High takes a look into Inception's many hat tips to surrealist cinema -- even cinema as a whole -- even filmmaking itself. Check out the video essay below to find out more.
Inception isn't really a surrealist film, as the essay clearly points out, but its many references to the style and movement really gets one thinking -- what was Christopher Nolan trying to say about it? Well, what is surrealism? It's irrational. It's dreamlike. It's an artistic venture into the subconscious. Sounds a lot like cinema, yeah?
Furthermore, Nolan consistently focuses on themes like dishonesty, lies, or the acceptance or rejection of reality (or truth), which is essentially what a filmmaker asks its audience to do when they watch a film. "Watch these still pictures go by at 24 frames per second, and even though they're not moving, believe that they are. Believe in the lie." Films offer audiences a chance to escape from reality -- it's one of the most important theories surrounding cinema, in fact.
So, did Nolan make a film about filmmaking in the most complex, even contrived and anfractuous way? Who knows? Well -- Nolan knows, but Kallgren definitely provides an intriguing point of view from which to examine this movie again.