Thinking about Inception (2010)
I originally wanted to assign Inception and have us watch it in class, but I didn’t think we’d have the time…the best laid plans of Boys II Men. Anyway, Netflix has Inception, and I’m pretty sure all of you have (various levels of) access to Netflix. If you don’t, let me know, and I’ll give you an alternative post for this week. If we come back, I’ll screen the film, so you can watch it. There will be questions on the final about Inception, so you really need to let me know this week if you can’t access it.
Inception is not only one of my favorite films, but it relates to Neuromancer and Count Zero (relates a lot more to The Matrix). Perhaps, if you don’t have access to Inception but have seen The Matirx, you could post a reflection about it. If you have some time on your hands, consider watching The Matirx. You could write a nice 250-word supplemental post. Be thinking about connections to Inception (and other texts) and the parallel messages about reality, which is key to understanding Neuromancer.
Christopher Nolan’s Inception (2010)
As you watch the film, consider the following questions:
- Technology: This film is related to the rhetoric of technology, but it requires a little imagination.
- Think about the technologies involved in the film–real and fictional. While we can’t collectively enter one another’s dreams, we do collectively engage with (and within) technologies for communication (social media, internet, a variety of broadcast entertainment, etc.).
- I’m pretty sure we don’t live in the matrix, but, just like the dream world of Inception, we (well, most of us) don’t have a history of life prior to certain technological commonalities. For instance, who remembers a time before…
- cell phones (smart and not-so-smart ones)
- social media
- search engines…online
- the world wide web
- cable television
- video game consoles
- unlimited soft drink refills at restaurants
- Does Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) have a handle on reality? What clues make you think he does? What clues make you think he doesn’t?
- Cobb’s wife, Moll, appears throughout the film and thwarts the team’s progress. Does she represent guilt? If so, whose guilt and what is the guilt?
- Dreams allow our imaginations to run wild. Our dream space, our subconscious, has been considered the reckless part of our psyche, the uncontrollable part. The characters in the film seem to be able to control dreams but only to a point. If our subconscious is uncontrollable, how are they able to control as much as they can?
- Who is the actual subject of the “inception”? Remember, risk reading too much into this text and think metaphorically. What’s the real world equivalent of holding onto an idea that you can’t get rid of because it’s so much a part of your being and worldview(s)?
Keep reading Count Zero. We were going to have a writing class on Wednesday, 3/25, but I’ll have to adapt that or skip it. I want to get comments on your first draft of the Social Construction of Technology Essay by Wednesday, so that’s what I hope will be up by then. Be on the lookout!
Most likely, it’ll be next Monday (3/30) before I have Count Zero notes up.