60 comments on “Carpe Somnium

  1. christina writes:

    oh, nice review, lawrence! i always loved nolan's movies (although they're too few and far in between) because they stick with you after the credits roll. a lot of critics say that his films tend to be too dark and cerebral for the normal american audience. maybe this is true in some places but i think his box office figures show that the majority of americans are starving for the kind of cinematic experience he, his wife, and his brother offer.

  2. Anonymous writes:

    I find the link to the myth potentially important. In the myth Ariadne spun a thread (she is associated with spinning in some versions) which she gave to Theseus to lead him from the maze. Mal gave the spinning totem to Cobb (to lead him out). Perhaps Ariadne is linked to Mal via the totem. Maybe she is the daughter of the creator of the maze (Mal's father) and she is giving him a thread to lead him out.

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  3. Doug writes:

    You must accept, as you enter the theater, that you are entering the shared dream state. As they say in the Matrix, you have to accept that there is no top. It cannot fall or stay spinning. It doesn't matter if it spins or falls because it doesn't exist. To answer the final question is to wake up. Of course there is the (juvenile, though powerful question) how do we know if our 'reality is 'real' or just a dream. It doesn't matter int he end because we must live it as if it is real.

    I also find Memento helpful as an analogue. Memory is faulty and subject to manipulation. We believe what we need to believe to go on with our lives. I love your articles. You were right on about There Will Be Blood and I teach it that way in my Script Analysis class (along with Magnolia). Though Magnolia is a bit more oblique.

  4. Thanks for the kind words and great thoughts, Doug.

    The question over what is reality or dream is actually not important, the real philosophical question is why a dream reality is any less important than a real reality. Since all data enters us through the lens of our mind, there really is no objective reality, therefore everything is a dream. Dreams, as we call them, are just more dissociated from the real data, but where do you draw the line?

    Would love to hear your thoughts on Magnolia, which I never had time to write on. Ultimately I believe it was a cautionary tale about regret, that product of hindsight that comes from years of wrong expectations in a capricious, coincidental world. Interestingly, years after watching it there are now scientific studies showing that that is exactly what makes people unhappy.

  5. Lorenzo, this is the best summation of Inception I've read, and the only one I'm going to recommend people read when they ask me about the movie. You've done a remarkable job explaining the ending as well. Finally, someone else gets it!

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  6. I agree with your perception of the 'distinction' between dream and reality Lorenzo. How could we say that dream is any less real than reality? In my opinion, I'd say dreams are even more 'real' cause they're happening right inside my head. you could call me crazy but that's what comes to my mind.

    As for the article, it is an excellent analysis, both film-wise and philosophy-wise. 🙂

  7. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be actually something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

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