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….”

{ 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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