Welcome to the latest edition of 24 Frames. Sahara Shrestha and Andrew Jamieson will be guiding you through the exciting, confusing and often brilliant world of 'film'. Expect news, trailers and plenty of opinion.

The latest edition is brought to you by Andrew Jamieson, who can be found on twitter over at @theghostwriterc.



24 Frames: The 'Inception' Edition

Last week I reviewed Rian Johnson's Looper (which can be found here) as I began my trek through some of my favourite movies of the last few years again to ask questions and reminisce on there finer points; It was the British tennis player Andy Murray who surprisingly drew me back to Christopher Nolan's Inception from 2010.

As we now know, the tennis player Andy Murray won his first Wimbledon title last week after losing the final the previous year to the gazelle like Roger Federer in 2012. The disappointment was clear to be seen on his face after losing a final in which he scaled considerable heights. Prior to the final on television last week the broadcaster ran a short piece on how Murray had felt in the days following the defeat in 2012. In the short preview Murray said that on the night after losing the final he had dreamt that he had actually won the final against Federer; before waking up from his dream and realising it had been a nightmare because he had lost. As I watched Murray describe this experience a wave of emotion flooded over me because this idea ties me back in to Christopher Nolan's 2010 masterpiece.

Inception is based on a script that Nolan wrote himself for around ten years, as a film maker he decided he didn't understand how to shoot on such a grand scale which is a trait he eventually learned while shooting Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008). In his original script the Cobb character played by Leonardo DiCaprio had been betrayed by his partner and this was the reason he could not return home to the United States. In the shooting script for Inception Nolan indicates that this original concept "didn't really have any resonance" so he changed the main source of malcontent for the Cobb character to Cobb's former wife Mal, played in the movie with intimacy, terror and femininity by the French actress Marion Cotillard.

  • Marion Cotillard and Leonardo DiCaprio in Inception

At the time the movie was released much of the coverage seemed to focus on the complexities of the dream environment and what the movie's conclusion meant. What I saw was a stunningly intimate film that captured one universal theme that nobody seemed to mention: How our subconscious dream state reconciles loss.

We all have loved ones and when we lose them it is an emotional part of our lives. When I saw Inception I recalled losing the love of my life. In the months that followed her departure she would always be in my dreams at night but as I awoke she wasn't there and I was alone. These dreams were so emotional that once they were over I found myself wishing I was asleep again so I wouldn't forget the emotional feeling of her in my heart. The intimacy with her was there in the dream but emotionally it was a violent and visceral dream experience as I woke up.

The Cobb character in the movie is unable to let go of his wife and he is addicted to experiencing the feeling of her presence. Marion Cotillard expertly conveys the idea that although she is now only part of Cobb's subconscious Mal is both loving and violent at once. It is this paradox that the film manages to convey expertly. The universal truth of dreaming is something we all experience. Inception captures one element of this experience beautifully and also manages to convey it during the bombast and grand scale cinema of which the director strives for.

  • Marion Cotillard in Inception

I would not like to suggest that I do not hold dearly all of the other beautiful cinematic constructs that make Inception a masterwork, the inventiveness of the score (with Johnny Marr playing guitar), Wally Pfister's glorious cinematography and the beauty of an ensemble all at the top of their game. But the movie will always stand up to me for one reason; the fact it captures the subconscious memory of loss and how our dreams can be a canvas for our own emotional perceptions.

When Andy Murray awoke from his Wimbledon dream he must have felt to a lesser extent what Cobb and I had. Inception isn't just a brain bender; it's a surprisingly intimate dream heist thriller. Proof that while your mind may be the scene of the crime so is your heart. For that I will always be thankful for Christopher Nolan's cathartic master work. We can all let go of the dream.