Nolan on dreaming up ‘Inception’

Posted by · 8:04 am · April 5th, 2010

I’ve largely steered clear of the frantic speculation over Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” that has done the online rounds for several months now. For one thing, I’d like to spare the film the pressure of overhype — some fans appear to be expecting something between “Memento: Bigger, Longer and Uncut” and the second coming of Christ — but for another, if the film really is the remarkable crypto-puzzle we’re all hoping for, I’d rather remain as ignorant of its secrets as possible.

Nonetheless, it’s hard to read this L.A. Times piece by Geoff Boucher — one of the blessed few to have read Nolan’s script and visited the set — and not get a little excited. I admit I skimmed over some of the specifics, but any summer blockbuster that inspires assorted references to Sigmund Freud, Ian Fleming, M.C. Escher and Haruki Murakami (the latter comparison courtesy of star Ellen Page) can only succeed or fail in interesting ways, right?

Nolan himself describes the sci-fi film as an attempt to “[approach] dream and the dream life as another state of reality,” and brief that initially didn’t mess with the cool genre storytelling he’d devised. After the cut, he describes how things got darker, messier and more intimate.

He says:

I originally wrote it as a heist movie, and heist movies traditionally are very deliberately superficial in emotional terms … They’re frivolous and glamorous, and there’s a sort of gloss and fun to it. I originally tried to write it that way, but when I came back to it I realized that — to me — that didn’t work for a film that relies so heavily on the idea of the interior state, the idea of dream and memory. I realized I needed to raise the emotional stakes. What we found in working on ‘Batman’ is that it’s the emotionalism that best connects the audience with the material. The character issues, those are the things that pull the audience through it and amplify the experience no matter how strange things get.

Read the rest here. Or not. As you like.

→ 12 Comments Tags: , | Filed in: Daily

12 responses so far

  • 1 4-05-2010 at 8:39 am

    head_wizard said...

    Still seems interesting and a little more detail makes the trailer make a bit more sense. Plus intersting that this has been his dream project for awhile hope it works for him the overhype can’t be helping.

  • 2 4-05-2010 at 11:28 am

    AmericanRequiem said...

    hope hype doesnt kill it, but cast is great and nolans pretty dependable, well see

  • 3 4-05-2010 at 12:44 pm

    Silencio said...

    i like that he remembered what’s important.

  • 4 4-05-2010 at 2:09 pm

    Cloy said...

    I don’t know, when I see anything likened to Freud I mostly think, “Freud, huh? So steaming pile of BS then?”

  • 5 4-05-2010 at 2:10 pm

    Vito said...

    My most anticipated film of 2010. Oozing with excitement here.

  • 6 4-05-2010 at 2:40 pm

    Fitz said...

    DiCaprio and Nolan teaming up is huge for me. Now if only Bale and Aronofsky could do a film together.

  • 7 4-05-2010 at 3:02 pm

    Maxim said...

    It’s Paprika – and Paprika was Kon’s weakest effort.

  • 8 4-05-2010 at 6:16 pm

    Jake said...

    I’m so sick of the “It’s Paprika.” We haven’t seen Inception yet.

  • 9 4-06-2010 at 9:07 am

    ninja said...

    This is going to be all kinds of awesome, make huge money, get huge Oscar buzz…and then comes freakin` Toronto Film Festival with its forgettable little flims that AMPAS like to rally behind every year in order to prevent a genre hit from winning. Just wait and see.

  • 10 4-06-2010 at 9:28 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Starting the whingeing early this year, I see, Ninja.

  • 11 4-06-2010 at 10:32 am

    ninja said...

    What can I do? It`s the same every year. Lost all hope that anything will change. Sure, they may give it to one of the Hobbit movies as if only Tolkien-based movies deserve to win (I`m in huge disagreement here). So Oscar season looks really bleak for sci fi fans again.

  • 12 6-20-2010 at 8:33 pm

    Nick Marino said...

    @Jake you’re right. we haven’t seen it yet. we’ve only seen the trailer, which looks and sounds a ton like Paprika. so if Inception isn’t like Paprika, then the studio is at least selling the movie like a live-action Paprika.