Apparently Christopher Nolan’s influence has fully asserted itself in the blockbuster world judging by all the Star Trek, James Bond and other franchises seeming to shoot and market their films in this manner. Vide the new Tom Cruise sci-fi film Oblivion – a film whose first impression comes from this key art, I know nothing otherwise – and tell me you don’t immediately think of Inception. Based on this bit of advertising, I am not only not excited for the film, I am slightly embarrassed.
About a month ago I told everyone I know to mark David Fincher’s The Social Network on their Oscar ballot right now. It was a lock. It’s over. Guaranteed. While I will be sticking with that pick, it’s looking more and more like a closer race than I thought. The King’s Speech has been eating up audiences and the buzz is pretty much at its peak. On top of that, it nabbed 7 BAFTA’s last night (winning half of their 12 nominations) which just keeps the freight train a truckin’. Having said that, Fincher did get the win for Best Director and Best Screenplay, so I think there’s still a chance his film will get Best Picture come Oscar day.
Other than that, nothing here all that surprising or hard to predict. Another ho-hum Oscar season in which just about everything is either a lock or a 1 in 2 chance of winning. So just like last year, it seems there are really only two horses in this race. Who will cross the finish line first?
The King’s Speech
Outstanding British Film
The King’s Speech
David Fincher – The Social Network
Outstanding Debut By A British Writer, Director Or Producer
Chris Morris – Four Lions
Colin Firth – The King’s Speech
Natalie Portman – Black Swan
Geoffrey Rush – The King’s Speech
Helena Bonham Carter – The King’s Speech
The King’s Speech – David Seidler
The Social Network – Aaron Sorkin
Film Not In The English Language
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Toy Story 3
The King’s Speech – Alexandre Desplat
True Grit – Roger Deakins
The Social Network – Angus Wall, Kirk Baxter
Inception – Guy Hendrix Dyas, Larry Dias, Doug Mowa
Alice in Wonderland – Colleen Atwood
Inception – Richard King, Lora Hirschberg, Gary A Rizzo, Ed Novick
Special Visual Effects
Inception – Corbould, Franklin, Lockley, Bebb
Make Up & Hair
Alice in Wonderland – Valli O’Reilly, Paul Gooch
The Eagleman Stag – Michael Pleas
Until the River Runs Red – Paul Wright, Poss Kondeatis
Orange Wednesdays Rising Award
While Christopher Nolan’s Inception was a pretty complex web of dreams within dreams and time inconsistencies and the like, most people I know who saw the film found it relatively straight forward and surprisingly easy to follow. Under lesser direction it could easily have become one of the biggest cinematic messes of all time. Still, it’s a tough task to keep everything that is happening in the film wrapped neatly in your mind; especially if you’re not paying close attention. Not anymore.
The latest viral video flooding inboxes and blogs is a side by side comparison of each of the dream sequences show together in real time. In short, a whole shitload of a helluva a lot can happen during a 4 minute van drive down the street. Check it out.
Obviously if you’ve not seen the film, this video is a major *SPOILER*. Also, stop reading this and go pre-order the DVD (available tomorrow (12/7)) right now!
I don’t have anything to say other than watch and enjoy.
Well worth highlighting this piece from one of my favorite web-writers, Alison Willmore, who points out something, apropos of Inception and Shutter Island this year, regarding the romantic (and tormenting) idealization of women as a plot hook. So that the tormented male lead can emote and strain towards some future enlightenment (or fall into the void), there must be a woman bathed in honey-coloured light demurely glancing towards the camera in soft-focus.
The gang is all here, with the addition of RowThree contributor Bob Turnbull to talk the glossy mega-budget blockbuster that has been getting a lot of folks yammering. Yes, we spend an hour plus dissecting the themes and complex plotting of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice to help you understand the significance…er…If you wake up at a different time, in a different place, could you wake up as a different person? Inception has big dreams and those dreams look like action movies and video games. But what is hiding amidst the fancy wardrobe, the bombast and the talky exposition? Gamble, Kurt, Andrew and Bob investigate the meaning and magnificence of Christopher Nolan’s brain teasing Blockbuster SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS! and throw out a few criticisms to temper the love in. While they are at it we rank our favourite Nolan pictures which leads to Kurt and Gamble in flat out war over The Prestige. There is another heady-dreamy-glossy science fiction picture sneaking in under the radar (if you are in Canada), Jaco Van Dormael’s busy mix of destiny, love and string theory (this one is Spoiler Free). Opinions on the film vary, but we all agree that Mr. Nobody should be seen on as big of a screen as possible. Matt and Bob talk docs on iconic personages (Joan Rivers and Rush). Andrew makes a case for The Rock and The Race to Witch Mountain. Gamble makes a case for micro-budgeted comedian driven cult mayhem in Operation: Endgame. To cap it all off, it is a Powell & Pressberger and Bong Joon Ho love-in on the DVD front.
As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!
ALTERNATIVE (no music track):
Full show notes are under the seats…
Would you like to know more…?
With Inception being the conversation du jour, one key splitting point on whether or not you are going to cry “Masterpiece” or merely “Top Notch Entertainment” for the film is how ‘mundane and rational’ the dream-state is portrayed. Leonardo DiCaprio’s Dom Cobb and his heist posse infiltrate, steal secrets and implant ideas into the mark by having him (or her) consciousness ‘shared in real time’ under the constraints of a maze-maker, The Architect, sort of a con-man (or woman) of the subconscious. The dreams as envisioned onscreen are represented in excruciatingly obvious metaphor at some times, with an elevator down to Cobb’s ‘basement of his subconscious’ and at others, like a full blown James Bond set-piece, as in the wintry fortress of solitude or elaborate car chases through town. It all looks like a (hundred) million bucks, but does it really dig into your brain? Nobody in Nolan’s world is standing naked in public or anxious (or self-indulgent) about much of anything, let alone violent sexuality or other taboo areas that the subconscious id may process when the super-ego is out of the picture.
It seems that dreaming and the movies have always been in sync with one another, from Buster Keaton’s Sherlock Jr. up to and including Guy Maddin‘s entire filmography (being a one artists personal cinema-laced fever-dream) and to action fare like the collective dream of The Matrix flicks.
So let us take a look at some other films that handle ‘dreaming’ portion of their narrative with a little more icky and a little more sticky, that is a lot less steel and polished glass and a lot more wounded flesh and psyche. Chime in with more entries I may have missed, there are many, some more obvious than others!
Director: Christopher Nolan (Memento, The Prestige, The Dark Knight)
Writer: Christopher Nolan
Producers: Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas
Starring: Leonaro DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe, Cillian Murphy, Pete Postlewaite, Tom Berenger, Marion Cotillard, Michael Caine, Lukas Haas
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running time: 148 min
Inception is Ocean’s Eleven taking place in The Matrix with a dash of 007 and a tease of 2001: A Space Odyssey. A convoluted heist film that takes place in dreams within dreams within dreams. The job is to plant an idea into a rich industrialists subconscious (so-called ‘inception’) and get out undetected. The team leader brings his own baggage into the complicated job, and there is danger of the whole operation getting stuck down the rabbit hole as the dig deeper and deeper into the layers of the mind. Made with sharp suits, big guns and practical landscapes and sets, this is the first big budget blockbuster to come along since The New World with a sense of both scale and tactility.
Read all of our reviews below…
- A Heartfelt Obituary for Canadian indie actress Tracy Wright
(Tracy Wright died June 22 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.) “Canada’s never been one for respecting artists, especially women over 30. It was hard to watch Tracy getting older. Older, ha! She was in her 40s. But year by year it was harder for her to find good work, despite being the best of the best. At times she seemed at a loss as to what to do. Of course, she was a brilliant actor and should have been acting constantly.”
- Anton Corbijn photoblogs The American
Title says it all, enjoy some great behind the scenes photography by a great photographer.
- How Does Inception’s Overly Detailed Chalkboard Compare to Other Overly Detailed Chalkboards?
The Vulture gives a list of ‘overblown chalk board’ scenes in Movies and unforgivably leaves out A SERIOUS MAN. WTF? Either way, it’s an unconventional topic around a list, that gets at one of those amusing movie cliches. Who draws these damn things and how long does it take?
- MUBI on “The Illusionist”
- Film Freak Central Interviews Vincenzo Natali
“Indeed, anyone who’s seen the trailers for Natali’s latest, the Frankenstein-ian family drama Splice, is certain to be surprised by what the final product has in store. You didn’t see that one comin’, did ya? I know I didn’t. Natali’s career has taken an appropriately unpredictable trajectory: he began work as a storyboard artist for Saturday morning cartoons and later went on to direct a popular little sci-fi/horror picture called Cube. In between the low-budget flicks that followed, he helmed a segment of the anthology film Paris, je t’aime, as well as a documentary about Terry Gilliam for the Tideland DVD.”
- Indie Wire Interviews Tilda Swinton (Video)
“Tilda Swinton is a brainy actress who swings easily from passion indie projects (The Deep End, Julia and the upcoming I Am Love) to studio fare, from arch-villains to objects of desire, and from mother in the Scottish highlands to glamourous globe-trotting movie star. ”
You can now take a look at RowThree’s bookmarks at any time of your choosing simply by clicking the “delicious” button in the upper right of the page. It looks remarkably similar to this:
I know there are a lot of you out there resisting all the details and spoiler-y visual opulence of Christopher Nolan’s science fiction blockbuster, Inception. I simply cannot resist looking at how they are slowly easing a multiplex audience into the world they have created. This new trailer focuses on the wonderful cast, and their unusual jobs within the world of the film. It is a great way to show off the star wattage, but still give people some sort of grasp of what the story is going to be . Nonetheless, I have no fear that this movie will be still blowing peoples minds on July 16th, no matter how much they give away in the marketing materials. I wonder if Nolan is a fan of Satoshi Kon’s Paprika as this film does seem to borrow a few of his images.
Cue deep-voiced man (or check out the character posters):
Leonardo DiCaprio is The Extractor
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is The Point Man
Ellen Page is The Architect
Tom Hardy is The Forger
Marion Cotillard is The Shade
Cillian Murphy is The Mark
Ken Watanabe is The Tourist
Trailer is tucked under the seat.
Quite Frankly, I am flabbergasted that nobody in these parts, considering how much we love our ‘upscale science fiction blockbusters’ along the lines of The Fountain, Solaris, and District 9, posted the new trailer for Christopher Nolan’s Inception. I’m guessing that this was attached in front of Iron Man 2. Perhaps we all skipped that one considering the ho hum reaction to the first film, or perhaps we have all been sold so much on the film that no further peaks are necessary. I am getting a Paprika, The Prestige, Dark City vibe. And wow, expectations are high for this one. Along with Mark Romanek’s Never Let Me Go it is one of the most anticipated films of the year, (if not THE most anticipated). Bring on the science fiction awesomeness. We demand it.
Mind Blowing (on screen, literally!) Trailer is tucked under the seat.