Inception (2010)


Together with the other American architects of the film, Ariadne (Ellen Page) is the designer of dreams from which everyone wants to escape to return to reality. Enter the maze and then want to get out.

Ariadne (Ellen Page)

Miles (Michael Caine)

“I need an architect who’s as good as I was.” I’ve got somebody better.

“Imagine you’re designing a building. You consciously create each aspect. But sometimes, it feels like it’s almost creating itself, if you know what I mean.” Yeah, like I’m discovering it. “Genuine inspiration, right? Now, in a dream, our mind continuously does this. We create and perceive our world simultaneously. And our mind does this so well that we don’t even know it’s happening. That allows us to get right in the middle of that process.” How? “By taking over the creating part. Now, this is where I need you. You create the world of the dream. We bring the subject into that dream, and they fill it with their subconscious.” How could I ever acquire enough detail to make them think that it’s reality? “Well, dreams, they feel real while we’re in them, right? It’s only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange.”

“Shall we take a look at some paradoxical architecture? You’re gonna have to master a few tricks if you’re gonna build three complete dream levels.” What kind of tricks? “In a dream, you can cheat architecture into impossible shapes. That lets you create closed loops, like the Penrose Steps.” The infinite staircase. “See? Paradox. So a closed loop like that will help you disguise the boundaries of the dream you create.” But how big do these levels have to be? “It could be anything from the floor of a building to an entire city. They have to be complicated enough that we can hide from the projections.” A maze? “Right, a maze.” And the better the maze… Then the longer we have before the projections catch us? “Exactly.”

How are the mazes coming along? “Each level relates to the part of the subject’s subconscious that we are trying to access. So I’m making the bottom level a hospital, so Fischer will bring his father. You know, l… Actually, I have a question about this layout.” No, no, no. Don’t show me specifics. Only the dreamer should know the layout. “Why is that so important?” In case one of us brings in our projections. We don’t want them knowing the details of the maze. “You mean in case you bring Mal in. You can’t keep her out, can you?” Right. “You can’t build because if you know the maze, then she knows it. Well, she’d sabotage the whole operation.”

Color palette

The challenge to the Labirinth

Paris 48,8566° N / 2,3522° E

Los-Angeles 34,0308° N / 118,1437° W

“On the one hand, today there is the necessary attitude to face the complexity of reality, rejecting simplistic visions that only confirm our habits of representation of the world; what we need today is the most detailed map of the labyrinth possible. On the other hand, there is the fascination of the labyrinth as such, of getting lost in the labyrinth, of representing this absence of exit ways as the true condition of man.” (Italo Calvino, The Challenge to the Labyrinth)

“Maybe to go around in a maze you need a good Ariadne waiting for you at the door holding the head of a wire. But there’s no such thing as long wires. And even if they did exist this would mean (often the fairy tales tell the truth) that you leave a labyrinth only with an external help.” (Umberto Eco, The name of the rose)

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