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Thread: Inception

  1. #71
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    saw it...loved it...amazing...i totally had a dream within a dream thing too kinda last night. it was a trip.
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    ~~~SPOILERS


    Quote Originally Posted by Kai View Post
    Just finished and I've got questions ^^'

    Did Frischer get killed in Dream World 3? (Ice Fortress) or was he merely dying? In which case, was he essentially revived from Dream 4?

    If he is dead. Why did they not repeat the same procedure with Saito?


    I think Fischer was merely dying hence why they couldn't repeat the same process with Saito
    Otherwise I quite enjoyed it. My interpretation of the ending was that Cobb's never did find Saito in D4, never woke up, instead went to his own dream world where he saved saito and returned home. One problem with D5 or "Limbo" is that it wasn't falling apart despite D4 falling apart due to D3 explosion.
    Limbo isn't based on the dreams of the user like the other levels are, Limbo is simply a terrain that takes the shape of the last individual who has been there which would be cobb. Even still, Limbo doesn't have the same restraint as the other dream levels, the only thing stopping the team from conjuring various weapons and such is that Fischer's projections would start to catch on.

    Obviously I didn't take on the interpretation that Limbo is shared consciousness. Instead I interpreted it as in, he is in his own seperate dream and everything else is a projection.

    Another thing I was thinking about: It's possible to die in D2 (Drowning) - D3 (Elevator Death) - D4 (Falling building) so if they didn't wake up in time from the deeper level, what would have happened? It appears they can miss 'kicks' since they all stayed in D3 despite D1 having been activated. D2 seemed to have failed due to the gravity sensation?
    Limbo doesn't necessarily imply shared consciousness. D1 had two kicks, one being the initial leap off the bridge (I assume) and the second being the crew actually hitting the water. That's the big question, I tend to think that you need to be kicked out of all the levels for you to wake up. With that being said, the rules of Limbo aren't particularly well stated (The characters were merely theorizing in the movie. Cobb did stay in Limbo for fifty years and he did manage to retain sanity)

    Also, D2 succeeded iirc, Arthur essentially created a pressure wave which pushed the elevator in a direction that made the crew feel like they were 'falling'
    Johari/Nohari wall! Thanks in advance for filling it out.

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  3. #73
    Senior Member Snow Turtle's Avatar
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    ~~~SPOILERS
    [[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[Limbo isn't based on the dreams of the user like the other levels are, Limbo is simply a terrain that takes the shape of the last individual who has been there which would be cobb. Even still, Limbo doesn't have the same restraint as the other dream levels, the only thing stopping the team from conjuring various weapons and such is that Fischer's projections would start to catch on.

    Limbo doesn't necessarily imply shared consciousness. D1 had two kicks, one being the initial leap off the bridge (I assume) and the second being the crew actually hitting the water. That's the big question, I tend to think that you need to be kicked out of all the levels for you to wake up. With that being said, the rules of Limbo aren't particularly well stated (The characters were merely theorizing in the movie. Cobb did stay in Limbo for fifty years and he did manage to retain sanity)]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]

    Yeah I'll have to watch for the explanation of Limbo once again since I was a little sketchy on that part. My interpretion was that it was merely the individual who entered their own limbo, thus it'll always be the last person entering only. There are no others.

    The interpretation that is being given by others on different websites seem to suggest that Limbo is a dream location that people can enter in together hence the questioning of whether it's meant to be shared consciousness down there.

    Did Cobb actually go to Limbo with Mal?
    They kinda just claimed... Oh, we explored the deeper dream realm until we found ourselves in Limbo. Yet, it's not actually guaranteed that he's ever been to there since he's the only one that knows. Suppose, a question here is whether it's possible to implant idea in people's memories via limbo world or whether he entered his wife's dream within her dream. They sound as if they were sane the entire time, so it appeared more to be a case of them entering dreams. Just that his wife prefered the dream world to reality.


    [[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[Also, D2 succeeded iirc, Arthur essentially created a pressure wave which pushed the elevator in a direction that made the crew feel like they were 'falling']]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]


    Oh, I was curious whether Arthur failed to do so first time round due to the zero gravity. But, that seems like abit of a blunder given they were expected to do so. The only reference I heard was something along the lines of "The music is playing too early" meaning the timing had messed him up.

    Some people have suggested that they require a kick from the shallower level as well as the current level to return back. At least it'd explain why they had to jump off in stage 4 when the world was collapsing. (I'm assuming it's because D3 is experiencing explosions.) though it's kinda weird that D3 wasn't subjected to any of the effects from D2. Someone on this thread already picked that up though.

    It's been so interesting reading other people's interpretations of the movie. Some even suggesting the horrible 'It was all a dream' scenario with Cobbs when he wakes up in the plane or that Cobbs is still actually in some form of dream world unwilling to wake up while everyone is suggesting he should do so (Grandfather etc)

    I'm curious, I wonder whether the person who made the movie intentionally made it so that there could be many different interpretations or whether he had a set one in mind, but introduced all these other variables to hide the real one.

  4. #74
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    I'm not going to hide text, it should be clear that SPOILERS ABOUND in this thread.
    Skip my post if you need to.










    Quote Originally Posted by Serge View Post
    I think Fischer was merely dying hence why they couldn't repeat the same process with Saito
    I've even seen the argument being made that Cobb's Limbo was really just another dream level and Saito's Limbo was actual Limbo. Still, even though Cobb and Ariadne use a machine to get there, Fischer is shot on D4 by Mal and ends up in Cobb's Limbo regardless, just like the rules for Limbo would suggest.

    ... dunno.

    But I think Fischer was dead. You don't get bumped to Limbo until you die in a dream level; normally it kicks you up a level, but the level of sedation required for a triple level dream means the mind can't get back out.

    Limbo isn't based on the dreams of the user like the other levels are, Limbo is simply a terrain that takes the shape of the last individual who has been there which would be cobb.
    Close. Limbo is "raw space" that is comprised of whatever Limbo experiences anyone in the currently dreaming group has been through. In this group, only Cobb had ever been in Limbo, so the only substance in Limbo was what Cobb had done the last time he was there. Saito goes to Limbo and then begins to construct his own reality around himself.

    Anyone understand why Cobb's Limbo is eroding, though?

    Even still, Limbo doesn't have the same restraint as the other dream levels, the only thing stopping the team from conjuring various weapons and such is that Fischer's projections would start to catch on.
    Yes. When Eames makes the Big Gun, they're already being attacked by projections; no point in holding back.

    Limbo doesn't necessarily imply shared consciousness. D1 had two kicks, one being the initial leap off the bridge (I assume)
    yes. The inner ear can't really tell the difference between beginning the fall and ending it -- it's the shift in direction and (de)acceleration that matters, that tells us we are falling. Our momentum is shifting very quickly.

    So the initial plunge is a kick, and...

    and the second being the crew actually hitting the water.
    Yes, hitting the water was the "backup" kick.

    That's the big question, I tend to think that you need to be kicked out of all the levels for you to wake up. With that being said, the rules of Limbo aren't particularly well stated (The characters were merely theorizing in the movie. Cobb did stay in Limbo for fifty years and he did manage to retain sanity)
    Did he?

    He was there with Mal, and they had each other. That helped. They had also gone there on purpose, another help.

    Saito also managed to stay sane, apparently... but he remembered Cobb. He wasn't completely believing in Limbo, he was just confused enough and needed Cobb's affirmation it was Limbo before he could bring himself to die and get out.

    The trouble comes because people think Limbo is reality. Thus, they're trapped there for a long long time, since their physical body is aging far more slowly back IRL... you could spend thousands of years down there... and it's really one big solipsist loop, so the mind just tends to feed on itself and eventually can't distinguish reality from Limbo... and even if they get back, they can't be sure what is true. Frankly, Mal might have been screwed anyway even without Cobb's "push." During their time there, Cobb always seemed to retain awareness of Limbo being "false" but Mal had eventually bought into its reality.

    Also, D2 succeeded iirc, Arthur essentially created a pressure wave which pushed the elevator in a direction that made the crew feel like they were 'falling'
    Yup. They were in no-grav space, so any quick acceleration in any direction would feel like falling IRL. Gravity (in terms of our human experience) is just a special case of the inner ear being tilted from level and a quick acceleration... but it only ever happens in one direction. The explosions in the no-grav zone can recreate that experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by kai
    Cobbs is still actually in some form of dream world unwilling to wake up while everyone is suggesting he should do so (Grandfather etc)
    Actually, this is quickly becoming one of the standard readings. Taking it at face value appears to be considered pretty blase, after 2 weeks into release, lol!

    Oh, I was curious whether Arthur failed to do so first time round due to the zero gravity. But, that seems like abit of a blunder given they were expected to do so. The only reference I heard was something along the lines of "The music is playing too early" meaning the timing had messed him up.
    Yusef doesn't seem to have a lot of dream experience. (For example, he forgets to use the bathroom beforehand, meaning D2 is stuck in a torrential downpour for most of it... Hmmm, side note -- does the lessening of the rain in that level suggest that he peed his pants while asleep? Just curious! ) He didn't time things right, got stuck early on the bridge, and had to go off or risk being killed / having others killed and jeopardizing the whole mission.

    The bombs were supposed to drop them into the hotel room under theirs. The music came early, the hotel went into freefall before Arthur could set off the charges... but he knew the backup plan. It was better that way too, they needed the extra time further down.

    More dream layers means more muffling of effects from higher up. What happens to someone who is dreaming plays out in their dreams, but if they dream in their dreams, it's the middle level that will impact them on the lowest level, whereas the highest level has to go through a dream through a dream to reach their consciousness. So the sensations will be muffled.
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  5. #75
    Senior Member Snow Turtle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I'm not going to hide text, it should be clear that SPOILERS ABOUND in this thread.
    Skip my post if you need to.













    I've even seen the argument being made that Cobb's Limbo was really just another dream level and Saito's Limbo was actual Limbo. Still, even though Cobb and Ariadne use a machine to get there, Fischer is shot on D4 by Mal and ends up in Cobb's Limbo regardless, just like the rules for Limbo would suggest.

    ... dunno.

    But I think Fischer was dead. You don't get bumped to Limbo until you die in a dream level; normally it kicks you up a level, but the level of sedation required for a triple level dream means the mind can't get back out.
    I interpreted that he had died as well so was surprised when he managed to get back out all perfectly fine and healthy. The only way I could reconcile this was the belief that... You can't technically die in dream worlds. You'd either just wake up or go to another dream location. "Limbo" seems to be the only location where they're all a little fuzzy on memory upon arrival?

    Did they actually hook up Fischer to the dream device? Otherwise it wouldn't be so farfetched to suggest that Cobb is the dreamer while Fischer is like Ariadne etc, people that have followed him into his dream. The only thing I wasn't entirely clear on was why they didn't seem to hook up Saito in that case... Was Cobb planning on finding Saito in the collapsing world? (This would suggest that this world is Limbo I guess) but it just seems a little silly to me why they'd enter Limbo rather than just another dream world. What's so special about the number 3?

    The only reason they mentioned 3 was because it was unstable from the previous 2 dream levels. But theoretically they should be able to go down as many dream levels providing the world didn't collapse on them.


    Close. Limbo is "raw space" that is comprised of whatever Limbo experiences anyone in the currently dreaming group has been through. In this group, only Cobb had ever been in Limbo, so the only substance in Limbo was what Cobb had done the last time he was there. Saito goes to Limbo and then begins to construct his own reality around himself.

    Anyone understand why Cobb's Limbo is eroding, though?
    This would have us believe that he's the only individual that's ever ventured down Limbo when countless of people across the world could have done so though. It's why I have difficulty believing in this shared reality, but am more likely to believe in personal dream reality. How did Cobb enter Saito's Limbo anyhow? Assuming Cobb's falling world is Limbo. Would death send them back to reality? Or send them into a deeper Limbo (Saito's world), or are Cobb's falling castle (xD) and Saito's place connected.

    I assumed his place is falling apart because of how he was interpreting his dream world. It started deconstructing alot more when the explosions started occuring in the IceTower. Now, the question is whether Limbo is meant to be affected by other dream levels.

    Did he?

    He was there with Mal, and they had each other. That helped. They had also gone there on purpose, another help.

    Saito also managed to stay sane, apparently... but he remembered Cobb. He wasn't completely believing in Limbo, he was just confused enough and needed Cobb's affirmation it was Limbo before he could bring himself to die and get out.

    The trouble comes because people think Limbo is reality. Thus, they're trapped there for a long long time, since their physical body is aging far more slowly back IRL... you could spend thousands of years down there... and it's really one big solipsist loop, so the mind just tends to feed on itself and eventually can't distinguish reality from Limbo... and even if they get back, they can't be sure what is true. Frankly, Mal might have been screwed anyway even without Cobb's "push." During their time there, Cobb always seemed to retain awareness of Limbo being "false" but Mal had eventually bought into its reality.
    Pretty nice description
    There are people out there who believe that Mal was right about them still being in another dream state.

    But I think I prefer the idea that Cobb just basically trapped in a Coma from Dream State 4 (Assuming Reality is 0) and that everything after his death with Mal is just his own dreams (Limbo) being played out to him. In that he saves Saito and returns back to his children.

    Even though I'd love to believe he escaped... I'll need to watch the film again.
    Hehehe.

  6. #76
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    This is a very good movie.

    And it has absolutely nothing to do with Ni. Get over yourselves already.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kai View Post
    I interpreted that he had died as well so was surprised when he managed to get back out all perfectly fine and healthy. The only way I could reconcile this was the belief that... You can't technically die in dream worlds. You'd either just wake up or go to another dream location. "Limbo" seems to be the only location where they're all a little fuzzy on memory upon arrival?
    Well, remember, they are all coached on the Architect-constructed levels. They all knew what each dream would look like, they had a plan, etc.

    Limbo is a crapshoot -- either nothingness, NOTHING to grasp with your mind, or it's stuff that someone else has built or that you have built from your own memories. Unless you have been there before, you have no foundation to start with to understand what you are seeing.

    To add to the above bit about Limbo getting mixed up with reality: Remember that Cobb said never to incorporate your memories into a dream, or you'll get confused. But Limbo as Cobb had made it with Mal was full of memories -- the houses they'd lived in, things they experienced together, etc. That confused the issue for Mal.

    When you die in a dream, you typically get bumped out of THAT dream. Which will send you "one level up" -- you wake up, and either you are now in reality, or you're back in the dream from which you had been dreaming the now-defunct dream.

    Did they actually hook up Fischer to the dream device? Otherwise it wouldn't be so farfetched to suggest that Cobb is the dreamer while Fischer is like Ariadne etc, people that have followed him into his dream.
    Fischer was never hooked up, I thought; I thought only he and Ariadne were hooked up.

    The thing is that if Cobb is an unreliable narrator... he might be inadvertently telling us mistruths about how the dream logic works. If EVERYTHING in the movie is yet one big dream, the inconsistencies don't actually matter.

    It's a sweet deal for Nolan; even if he makes a mistake or decides not to reconcile something, the rules of the story itself can "cover" for him!

    The only thing I wasn't entirely clear on was why they didn't seem to hook up Saito in that case... Was Cobb planning on finding Saito in the collapsing world? (This would suggest that this world is Limbo I guess) but it just seems a little silly to me why they'd enter Limbo rather than just another dream world. What's so special about the number 3?

    The only reason they mentioned 3 was because it was unstable from the previous 2 dream levels. But theoretically they should be able to go down as many dream levels providing the world didn't collapse on them.
    Theoretically. But remember what the sedation does -- it knocks you out IRL. To keep the body out for good (to keep all three dreams stable, so that external stimulations can't disturb and wake you, an extremely high dose of sedative has to be taken.

    At some point, the person's vitals are taken so low by a sedative that they just die.

    I'm not sure they realistically go further than three levels without being drugged to death.

    This would have us believe that he's the only individual that's ever ventured down Limbo when countless of people across the world could have done so though.
    No, as stated earlier, Limbo is raw space filled with stuff ONLY from the people who are sharing the dream state.

    There were only seven people (Eames, Yusef, Cobb, Ariadne, Fischer, Saito, and Arthur) in this shared dream. Cobb was the only one who had been in Limbo before.

    Think of Limbo not as a tangible place that is external to everyone's head, it's a shared space formed by the meeting of the currently connected minds. If you've been there before, you have a contribution to make; if not, all you have is raw space to offer.

    It's why I have difficulty believing in this shared reality, but am more likely to believe in personal dream reality. How did Cobb enter Saito's Limbo anyhow? Assuming Cobb's falling world is Limbo. Would death send them back to reality? Or send them into a deeper Limbo (Saito's world), or are Cobb's falling castle (xD) and Saito's place connected.
    It's all the same Limbo. Saito just built his stuff in a different corner of it.

    I assumed his place is falling apart because of how he was interpreting his dream world. It started deconstructing alot more when the explosions started occuring in the IceTower. Now, the question is whether Limbo is meant to be affected by other dream levels.
    I don't know.

    I was also wondering if it was eroding because Cobb had denied the reality of it... and was about to reject it completely as part of freeing himself from Mal. IOW, he was finally "letting go" of that reality he had joint-constructed with her. And, also, if it had been there for thousands of years during the time he and Mal had come back vs the Inception against Fischer, maybe it was just collapsing naturally.

    Definitely the kicks and upper-level dream were getting through to Cobb's area of Limbo though (if it was Limbo); the sky is torn by lightning (from Fischer getting jump-started), the ground is shaking (from the collapse of the Ice Fortress), it's acting less like a detached Limbo and more like yet another dream level.

    Even though I'd love to believe he escaped... I'll need to watch the film again. Hehehe.
    I'm not sure he escaped anything, I think rather he embraced something of his own choosing... and in the end, since reality is not to be discovered (as something existing outside oneself) but to be chosen (within oneself), it doesn't matter whether it was true or not.

    EDIT:
    Another link:
    Inception Ending Explained (and Discussion) - Screen Rant

    One interesting comment:
    At the end, Cobb’s kids seem to be the same age and are seemingly wearing the same clothes as they were in his memory of them – is it “proof” he’s still dreaming? As carefully documented by our own Vic Holtreman, at the end of the film Cobb’s kids are wearing similar outfits to the ones he remembers, but their shoes are different.
    rofl, really? Wow. Someone has sharper eyes than me.

    EDIT EDIT:
    Also, in regards to the soundtrack, which a YouTube clip shows that the brooding part of the musical theme is actually the Piaf song slowed down (it really is, lol!), Hans Zimmer 'fesses up.
    Inception soundtrack created entirely from Edith Piaf song | Music | guardian.co.uk
    Hans Zimmer Extracts the Secrets of the ‘Inception’ Score - ArtsBeat Blog - NYTimes.com

    (which is actualy really a cool idea. Since the music coming from higher levels should be slower in lower levels, it might actually sound like this)

    Is The FogHorn In ‘Inception’ A Clue To The Film’s Meaning? | Pink is the New Blog | Everybody's Business Is My Business

    And since the music bookends the movie as well as permeates it... the entire movie is the "wakeup music." Which suggests the entire movie was a dream, and at the very end of the credits, the song translates back into its normal tempo and the film stops rolling... meaning the audience has now been kicked back into real life and can walk out the door.

    EDIT EDIT EDIT:
    Another graphic of the movie dream levels, this one a 3D representation.
    The Inception Timeline: A Pretty Adventure in Hand-Holding | Film School Rejects

    EDIT EDIT EDIT EDIT:
    More links.
    Dissecting 'Inception': Six Interpretations and Five Plot Holes - Cinematical
    I agree with the assessment on plot holes. If the whole movie is a dream, then Nolan is home-free. If not, then the last one in particular is a sticking point.

    I also like the discussion about "What is the audience's totem so that we know we are in a dream or not?" The answer: There isn't one... there is no establishing shot or item that really tells us... Even the kids are slightly different.

    The Volokh Conspiracy
    The proposal that Cobb is not even an Inception agent but merely someone dreaming and working through a cathartic moment.

    Sammy Jankis Shares His Thoughts on Inception | /Film
    A past memento shares his thoughts.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  8. #78
    Senior Member Chris_in_Orbit's Avatar
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    SPOILER

    In relation to whether or not the entirety of the movie was a dream:

    They made it a very big point that in order to wake up from the deepest layer immediately, from layers of sleep, you would have to be kicked from every layer simultaneously.

    The biggest problem I had with believing anything really happened was the part when Cobb and his wife decide to kill themselves in Limbo...

    That decision would have only been enough to either peel one layer or would send them into limbo...again. (Ariadne had to be kicked from Limbo afterall)

    But even further was the issue of Cobb and his wife's initial limbo experience. For one they would have to have been properly sedated to reach that point... If that's the case, what does "killing" yourself in limbo really do? (One of the points was that killing yourself/dying when deeply sedated would send you into limbo so its paradoxical... Either the place they were in wasn't really limbo and killing themselves sent them to the real one...or it wasn't really limbo and just a fourth level and they receded to the 3rd)

    I think there is a distinct option that this movie could have taken:

    Cobb and his wife get to a 4th(?) level of dreaming and kill themselves, which would take them one layer out which would be enough time for the events of the movie to take place.

    The funny thing about that would be that Mal would have been right; they would have still been dreaming.

    Oh yeah, I really liked the movie by the way :P

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    Cobb and Mal used a machine to get to Limbo. You can see it behind Cobb when they wake up from their first Limbo excursion. I don't think they had an extra dream levels to go through, they likely got there via sedation of some sort.

    I think what happens is that if you are still sedated when you kill yourself in Limbo, it wouldn't really do anything, would it? You'd still be out. I think you only can wake up once the sedative is stopped. So if you die in Limbo after the sedative is done, you wake up immediately; otherwise, I would intuit that you're in a blank sleep until the sedative runs out, whereupon you awake... but you wouldn't know that time had elapsed in the "real world" since you wouldn't know what time in the real world syncs up with your death in Limbo... it would be perceived just like killing yourself and waking up in reality.

    In the movie, Cobb and Saito woke up 20 minutes before end of flight, when the sedative apparently ran its course.

    But you would think if ALL of it was a dream (and the whole Inception concept was authentic), that getting out of Limbo by dying would bump them the WHOLE way out to the very top, rather than leaving them in a dream world of any sort.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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  10. #80
    Senior Member Chris_in_Orbit's Avatar
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    Hmm, I never saw that machine, good observation Jennifer. But how do you explain the 50 years they spend in limbo? They would have had to have gone into a dream within a dream. In fact Cobb even says that this is what they did (saying the two of them were really interested in the idea of dreams within dreams but didn't realize the change in time would be so vast.)

    I'm really curious to understand why you think dying in limbo would be a complete insta bump?

    If this were the case, would the cast have freaked out when they found out they would go to limbo if they died in any of the dream worlds? They would have known to kill themselves when/if they reached that point...(Of course, this is assuming they understand what you are thinking: that dying in limbo would be enough to break the dream)

    But hmmm, the idea of dying in limbo is still baffling... especially under sedation. I like your idea of the blank sleep but that seems to negate the fact that they fell asleep to get there in the first place... It would be like a wormhole that jumps from x levels of dreams to reality, it's hard to imagine that it would be that easy.

    One thing that really seemed to make me question the real world were the totems.. the conscious/unconscious control over them in dreams seemed to be what made them certain the world was real but it could have actually been a point of confusion for dreamers and such. The "reality" we see throughout the movie could have just been a layer that cobb's unconscious thought was reality and that would seem to be enough to make that top stop spinning i would think..

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