This brilliant video essay looks at Inception and the Narrative Illusion

Illustration for article titled This brilliant video essay looks at iInception/i and the Narrative Illusion

Christopher Nolan's Inception is a delightfully surreal look at merging the worlds of dream and reality - but this video essay from Brows Held High takes a deep dive into Nolan's surrealist influences as well as Inception's flirtation with the greatest filmmaking illusion of all: the Narrative.

The video takes a look at Surrealism's influence on cinema over the years through the lens of Inception - itself filled with Nolan's own homages to filmic surrealism - but it's most interesting argument comes in its underlying theme that films themselves are the greatest example of illusory surrealism. The very idea of a movie - that we suspend our disbelief to the point that sets become locations, actors become characters and the stories themselves become 'our' world - is in itself all about an illusion, a pretense the audience and the filmmaker creates in order to tell a story that we immerse ourselves in. That's almost as brain-twisting a concept as Inception's ending itself.


The full video's a great watch.

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Sean McArdle

Very interesting. It makes me reevaluate Inception as well as Nolan's other movies. The third act is still a letdown and a bit of a mess though. We were promised cathedrals of the mind, folding cities, and all we got was a standard city chase, and a generic 007 snow fortress scene.

More than anything it makes me want to rewatch Man With A Movie Camera again.