Mary Robinette Kowal

Lions and tigers and catnip, oh my!

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(h/t Nalo Hopkinson)

N.K. Jemisin

Inception Obsession

Spoilers herein for the movie Inception. You have been warned!

I’ve seen the movie Inception four times, including on IMAX. Thinking about buying it when it comes out in DVD, etc. I even bought the Hans Zimmer soundtrack; it’s excellent music for writing about gods and epic stuff.

Now, let me put this in context: the last movie I saw multiple times in the theater, and still didn’t buy, was The Matrix. And that was only because somebody pointed out the green tint thing, which I’d missed on the first run-through. I’m ridiculously picky and jaded about my media. I don’t watch much TV to begin with (writing time has to come from somewhere) and when I do there are very, very few shows, movies, or video games that can capture and hold my interest, let alone bring me back for seconds or thirds. The ones that do aren’t always the greatest thing since sliced bread — as Inception is not; its characterization is so thin as to be archetypal, though in certain rare cases archetypes are all you need to tell a story (c.f. fairy tales).

But every so often, something will come along that hits one of my aesthetic sweet spots, and then I just. can’t. stop. watching/consuming/engaging. In the case of Inception, I love the look of the film. Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s and Marion Cotillard’s wardrobes alone are worth the price of admission. Nolan’s got a good eye for combining the stark with the surreal, and even though his dreamscapes seem awfully monotonous — I’ve been calling Cobb’s city in Limbo “Cutandpasteopolis” — there’s still a strangeness to them that really works for me, especially in combination with Zimmer’s haunting film score. And I love the actors, who do a phenomenal job within those thin slices of characterization. DiCaprio’s good, but Gordon-Levitt really shines, Dileep Rao did a much better job than the film’s marketing would suggest (he’s the only member of “the team” who didn’t get an individualized poster), and I never thought I would find Marion Cotillard frightening but she does it so well. I could watch Ken Watanabe paint a wall and be floored by his technique. And Tom Hardy is surprisingly hot in three-day stubble and a Seventies butterfly collar. (…I’m kind of disturbed to see myself write this. But writers must be willing to embrace their own fears and eccentricities…)

But here’s part of what intrigues me about the film.

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