INCEPTION on the Art of Storytelling

For anyone who writes fiction, makes films, or designs video games, Director Christopher Nolan has a whole hidden layer about the art of storytelling in his new film INCEPTION for you.  And he’s succeeded in putting this conversation underneath the surface story of the film, so it’s there waiting for you while everyone else can enjoy the film without feeling like they’re trapped in a boring lecture on the artistic work involved in creating fictional worlds.

The heart of the story is about Cobb, the “dream architect” whose sabotaging subconscious has made it impossible for him build dreams anymore.  Replace “dream architect” with “filmmaker,” and one soon catches on to Nolan’s hidden conversation.

Dream architects have the same sort of problems filmmakers and writers have, such as:

–Creating believable fictional worlds that the dreamer/viewer/reader can get lost in.

–Getting the details right.

–Finding the right equipment and tools needed to build the dream.

–Putting together a story that the dreamer will get wrapped up in.

–Dealing with hostility in the dreamer.

–Having different genres of stories.

–Encountering dreamers who have abandoned real life for the dreams.

–Giving the dreamer catharsis.

–And most of all, having to deal as a “dream architect” with the subconscious crap in one’s own mind that comes to the surface to sabotage one’s ability to get one’s creative work done.

All of this made INCEPTION a movie where I found myself getting both  a great story to watch and at the same time an enjoyable secret chat about the art of storytelling.

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