Metaphilm – Meaning is where you make it

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by InceptionEnding

in Inception Ending

L5 = deconstruction/ metanarrative.
“…The final level down, Limbo. This is Jung’s collective unconscious—the area where archetypes spring from. The very edge of coherent thought. A kind of Solaris—ocean-mind metaphor is definitely at work here, as Saito and Cobb preserve what is left of their ‘self-identity’ in a world that is otherwise extant but completely deconstructed (there is only one construction—the island or beach which exists as the ‘edge’ of consciousness, where Saito houses the remnant of his identity).

This is the area of human thought where all stories spring from, and it is interesting that, at both the beginning and ending of the movie, Cobb and Saito are trying to ‘reconstruct’ events—undergoing a kind of anamnesis (if you don’t know what anamnesis is, it’s the idea that we don’t ‘learn’ things, but instead our eternal mind or soul ‘recollects’ them—the idea going back to Plato at minimum). So Cobb and Saito barely remember who they are, and attempt to recreate a story (sitting, certainly unironically, at the kind of table where writers might sit to hash out a story).

It’s at that point that the movie jumps back into reality. This is a clever, clever metanarrative—Nolan uses a hard cut here, not telling us what happened in Limbo. Why? Because it’s our construction of events that matters—not the filmmaker’s. We have now come to define our final reality—our understanding not of how to interpret the final events of the movie—the culmination of possibilities from Levels 0–4—but rather that we create the ending we desire in our minds, and then justify it, based on our own particular stories and motives! This is deconstructionism in a nutshell: it is the viewer’s interaction with the medium that matters—not the medium itself. We make the meaning of the movie.

As a final gift, Nolan gives us the top and says ‘Here, I am presenting the ambiguity that will allow you to clarify and focus your meaning’—a touchstone, if you will. Or perhaps better put, as the movie does, a totem—for all of us—to determine the reality we believe we have perceived. In effect, as a final focus, and the culmination of the movie’s ideas, the spinning top has the effect of Inception on the viewer—only possible, as was said in the movie, because we ourselves have to identify the ‘meaning/idea’ as having come from within ourselves, originally….”

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  1. CHUD – NEVER WAKE UP: THE MEANING AND SECRET OF INCEPTION “Every single moment of Inception is a dream. I think that in a couple of years this will become the accepted reading of the film, and differing interpretations will have to be skillfully argued to be even remotely considered. The film makes this clear, and it never holds back the...
  2. TheLastPsychiatrist – The Ultimate Explanation of Inception “…If you’re busy looking for what’s dream and what’s not, you’re just trapped running the staircase.  You need to change the perspective. Cobb has Fischer hostage in the warehouse; he tosses Eames disguised as Browning next to him and says, “you have one hour!” (to figure out “the combination” to the safe.) ...
  3. Kotaku – Did Video Games Help Me Accept Inception’s Ending? “…The struggle people are having with the ending is sorting out what the next moment would be after the final scene. The final scene of the film makes it clear that one of two possible events will happen next. Some Inception viewers are convinced that event A will happen; others...
  4. JimboRant – It was all a Dream “Sequence of Events The movie starts in limbo, then goes to Cobb and Arthur’s attempt at stealing an idea from Saito. Ok first let me note that the idea was never specific. Like anything in the dream world it is not really real. Therefore there was never really an idea...
  5. RevolvingDoorProject – INCEPTION: Wait.. What happened? “…Was Cobb dreaming or was he not dreaming? Why did Nolan choose to not show the top, and keep the ending open for interpretation? The answer to the second question is simple. He didn’t keep the ending open. It’s a trap! …After multiple viewings of Memento, Nolan doesn’t seem like...

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

melody November 30, 2010 at 11:39 am

Do you think the 6th interpretation listed here is a good one?


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