Notes From Babel

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Inception Was a Bust

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And I so wanted to prove this smug-sounding review wrong—it turned out to be pretty squarely on the money. My AFI-alum wife explains to me, as she typically does when I groan about the latest cinematic disappointment, that Christopher Nolan probably sacrificed the opportunity to make movie that would be interesting for the opportunity to make a movie that would be seen.  This, she tells me, explains why it is loaded with a bunch of humdrum action sequences (car chases! snowmobiles! explosions!) rather than delving into the more chin-stroking questions of what it might be like to putt around inside a fellow’s subconscious.  My rejoinder, though, is why tease us poor chin-strokers in the first place?  Seems there must be an endless supply of stock scripts that could be turned into a car-chasing, snowmobile-riding, explosion-riddled summer action mind-number.

Anyway, Since Nolan had done such a wonderful job in Memento, telling the story of an amnesiatic protagonist in five-minute increments in reverse chronological order, I was fully expecting something more than what he offered in Inception.  Michel Gondry’s work in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind remains the standard-bearer for story-telling from within the subconscious.  Thus, to cheer myself up, here are screencaps from some of the best scenes from that movie:

Joel as a child in his mother's kitchen

This is my favorite scene in the film.

The bookstore scene

Notice how by the end of the scene, all of the book covers have been scrubbed from Joel's memory

Joel remembering his ride home from the beach where he first met Clementine. Notice the memories getting smashed together--I found this sequence to be the most poignant in the film.

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Written by Tim Kowal

July 18, 2010 at 9:33 pm