One of the main areas of work for psychoanalysis that was developed in the late 19th century, around the same time as cinema, is the subconscious. According to Freud, the most comprehensive area where the subconscious can be considered is dreams. During dreaming, the auto control mechanisms of the mind and body weaken and issues of the past are revealed.
But Inception is something else. A film that mystified many, it also became the subject of intense online debates and speculation as to its ultimate meaning. I subsequently viewed it two more times, and collected even more clues confirming my basic thesis.
One cannot properly understand Inception without familiarity with the basic concepts of Carl Jung, some Freud, and a sprinkling of esoterica. I am not here advocating Carl Jung, to be clear. Jung was very much opposed to the basic worldview I espouse, but we must still interact with and decode these phenomena, inasmuch as they are a part of the world we operate in.
What is happening in Inception is just this: Saito recognizes the carpet is not his, and calls Cobb out for keeping him within yet another layer of dream-existence. And if you note, they never attack Cobb — ever. The collective conscious manifests itself in images and archetypes in our deepest selves — the lowest of the subconscious.
It is here that we hide out most intimate failures, sins and fears.
We guard this sensitive part of our selves, and have defense mechanisms by which we hide and guard these deeper, more Inception freudian analysis ethereal truths about who we really are. This, then, is the context in which Inception can be understood, and in no other. Familiar themes as found in gnosticism here emerge, such as the myth of alienation from Sophia as found in tractates such as the Hypostasis of the Archons.
And this is undoubtedly the font from which Jung drew.
Whether there was an actual person with some similar history as presented in certain scenes of the film is up for debate, but I tend to think so. We see, for example, when Cobb is in the dream realm with Mal, the buildings are all uniform and part of a clearly imaginal city.
However, there is a brief scene towards the end where Mal is with Cobb in old age, and the background city is an actual city with variant architecture.
In fact, the architecture of the buildings is also key to decoding the narrative: And this is because man is seen as a microcosm of the macrocosm. It could also have reference to Cabal, or Kabbala, the Jewish mystical theory of reality that has at times fallen into pantheism.
This will be the downside of the ultimate message of the film — that, like the Matrix, reality is a manifestation of our consciousness — solipsism. But solipsism is an impossible, self-refuting philosophy that is nothing more than a rehash of the ancient pagan Hindu concept of Maya.
Ariadne is also, as has been noted, the character of Greek mythology associated with labyrinths and helping Minos defeat the minotaur.
He is the architect. Again, there really is no clear point in the film in which we know we are in the realm of waking life.
This is why Ariadne pulls together two mirrors and it agitates Cobb when he looks in both directions and sees a fragmented image of himself, infinitely, in both directions.
In fact, it is Cobb throughout the film, who is constantly being given clues as is the viewerthat he is in a dream state and has constructed elaborate layer upon layer of labyrinthine stories and myths to hide his dark side — represented by Mal.
Another interesting clue is the totem itself. This is another clue that the totem itself is, for Cobb, just another piece of the myth he has constructed to cloak himself in. When Cobb later speaks with Mal in the anniversary hotel room, he steps on the same glass and even says the same phrase Ariadne had earlier to Mal.
This is one of many clues that Ariadne is Cobb. Reality is just that — reality. These analyses are now expanded in published form. Purchase my book, Esoteric Hollywood by clicking the image! Subscribe to JaysAnalysis for more by clicking on this image!
JaysAnalysis Podcast now on iTunes! JaysAnalysis offers the first hour for free and the full talks and interviews as a subscription below.The analysis setting out the dream-thoughts underlying it may occupy six, eight or a dozen times as much space” (Freud; ).
When mapping out the dream, the team confirms that they will use the targets 10 hour flight to perform “Inception.”. Inception does something different, however, which I will address by invoking some of the fundamental concepts of psychoanalysis.
At its core psychoanalysis posits the notion that all of us have a part of our mind which is unconscious whose contents are unknown in any explicit sense to us. A Film Analysis of Inception Essay A Film Analysis of Inception If “true inspiration is impossible to fake,” explains a character in Christopher Nolan’s existentialist heist film Inception and If that’s the case, then Inception is one of the realest films ever made.
This summer's mega-hit movie Inception, is a welcome, albeit excessively frenetic, confusing, manic meditation on the elusive nature of reality. While its premise is ostensibly about the main.
Freud claims that people maintain a certain “underestimation of compression” associated with dreams (Freud; ). Structure In Inception, dreams within dreams exist on separate physical levels and are structurally fragile.
Sabrina’s Psychoanalytical Analysis of Inception Posted on September 10, by sabrinadiaz While reading Tyson’s chapter on Psychoanalytic Criticism, there were a bunch of sections that stuck out to me; the unconscious, defenses, and dreams and dream symbols.