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My Life At The Movies: Inception

In the early years of the life entitled “Jonathan Godfrey,” there was a clock. It was octagonal in shape, framed in brass, and had a bare black face. While the sun was out its metallic hands would tell the time by pointing into numberless directions, but at night it would open itself to reveal the abyss that lied within. No really! At night I would lay on my parent’s faux white-bearskin rug, and once they were asleep the clock; like a star gone supernova, would swallow my family whole. Now suffice it to say that the childlike illusions of an in-house black-hole were nothing more than a reoccurring dream, but the clock was real… and I still hate that thing!

Yes, it was just a dream, but dreams and nightmares have been a part of me since my nights on that bearskin rug. In my unconscious state I still build worlds so horrifying to my psyche that sleep at times (like the Greeks of old believed), is truly the cousin of death. Yet it is something I’ve grown capable of dealing with and something integral to my reasons behind loving “Inception”.

If you haven’t already seen it, “Inception” is not only the movie of the year, in my books it is the movie of the decade. After my first viewing of the aforementioned film, I realized I had not undergone such a unique cinematic experience since I watched the Matrix. Christopher Nolan’s multi-layered dreamscape is so impressionable in fact, that I brought a group of friends along for my second viewing less than a week later.

The central plot is simple. Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a falsely accused criminal sent by a rich idealist to save the world from an eclipsing empire. The unique characters, landscapes, and language work to situate this plot into the depths of a sci-fi wet-dream Philip K. Dick only wishes he had. Without spoiling the movie for those who have not seen it I will simply say that what’s most amazing are its philosophies about dreams and the subconscious.

As the movie employs its characters to discuss the above topics the audience is drawn in to evaluate their own relationships with the same. There are moments in the movie, if you pay enough attention, where Dom talks at length to his own subconscious. It seems at first that he is talking to another person, but in fact these are just his own “projections”. I can’t tell you how many times a day I endure waking dreams wherein I discuss my life with varying figures of my own subconscious. However, these fine tuned shades of reality are everything but real. Too often I enchain myself to my guilt; too often I allow my ‘projections’ to drive me into depression because of how I’ve wronged them.

Of all the layers within the movie, it is Dom’s vicious subconscious that I can relate to the most. Of all the lessons I learned in the movie it is that I need to recognize the imperfections of my dream world, and awake to the complex beauty of reality. I guess I’ve just always waited for a dream to come true, maybe I should realize one already has.

This is my nightmare (hahahaha), this is my life at the movies.

Jon Godfrey


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