Warner Bros. Entertainment
by Todd Gilchrist | Fri., Jul. 16, 2010 6:55 AM
Warner Bros. Entertainment
It's been one of the most-buzzed-about films of 2010: Inception, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and from The Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan, has been shrouded in secrecy ever since it was announced last year, and now it's time to see what lines like "Your mind is the scene of the crime" really mean.
Before (or even after) you catch this twisty and inventive thriller, check out our list of five things you need to know about Inception:
The director dreamed the whole thing up himself: Dreams playing a big role in movies isn't anything new. But a subconscious dream world that can be manipulated by the conscious? Where does that idea come from? From Nolan's real-life crazy dreaming, of course.
"There are times in my life where I experienced lucid dreaming, which is a big feature of Inception," Nolan told E! News recently when discussing the film. "The idea of realizing you're in a dream and...trying to manipulate it in some way. That's a very striking experience."
Acting in zero gravity requires serious mind games: One scene getting a lot of buzz has Joseph Gordon-Levitt fighting off some goons while literally climbing the walls of a hallway. To pull it off, the filmmakers created a 100-foot-long corridor (a padded one) that could be rotated 360 degrees six times every minute. But how exactly does an actor prepare for something like that?
"I couldn't think of the floor being the floor and the ceiling being the ceiling," Gordon-Levitt said. "I had to think, 'This is the ground...Now this is the ground...and now, this is the ground.' That was the mind game I had to play to make it work."
There isn't a whole lotta CGI: Just thinking about the work that has to go into building a giant, padded, rotating hallway is exhausting. So it makes you wonder, with today's technology, why not just green-screen that stuff?
It was a very specific choice on Nolan's part not to.
"However sophisticated animation is, the audience can always tell the difference between something that has been photographed and something that has been animated," Nolan said.
But when effects are required, like say, when a city in ruins has to fall into the sea, Nolan always tries to always do something on camera, so there's at least a photographic foundation for the CG teams to build on.
DiCaprio isn't much of dreamer: His character Cobb has made a life out of navigating the subconscious, but as it turns out, Leo himself doesn't spend a whole lot of time there himself.
"I'm not a big dreamer," Leo told us. "I never have been. I remember fragments of my dreams."
So what kind of preparation did he do to be able to get inside the mind...literally? "I was able to sit down with Chris for two months every other day and talk about the structure of this dream world, and the rules that apply in it."
There's nothing funny about it: Who hasn't had a dream that involved an in-depth conversation with a purple stuffed elephant. Really? No one? Well, when writing Inception, Nolan avoided the comedic side of dreams. "One of the things we talked about, tonally, is never tipping over into comedy, this funny version," he's stated. "And certainly I think there's a great comedy version of this movie somewhere, but I don't want to make it."
Does this mean there'll be a sequel?! Maybe by The Hangover director Todd Phillips? Just a thought.
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