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"Synecdoche, New York" > "Inception"

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Jul. 19th, 2010 | 12:14 pm

I hadn't seen "Synecdoche, New York" when it played in theaters a while ago, but I saw that it was available on Netflix Instant view, so I saw it last night on the TV using my Roku device [recommended]. It was so much better a movie than "Inception," much more dreamlike and surreal, but less CGI-ey, and really more touching and gentle and funny and sad. There's no explanatory crap - no "and now we're in a dream in a dream, with kicks and 6 seconds means 10 minutes means 60 years." The emotions that characters had in "Synecdoche" are nuanced and conflicting and amorphous, whereas in "Inception" all the emotions are shorthand, like comic book panels or anime expressions.

When I went to go see "Inception" with The Complication on Saturday, he was less than impressed, and looking on the bright side, I tried to convince him that at least seeing that movie meant that you could discuss the concept of solipsism with a wide range of people, and have a ready illustration for it. I enjoyed "Inception" I like James Bond movies, and the musical score emulated a lot of 007 moments. But later I read Andrew O'Hehir's review in Salon, and he really pegged why it isn't a "Great Film" - that lack of femaleness, that total boy geekery of Chris Nolan that robs the movie of emotional subtlety. There's no emotional reality in "Inception", whereas "Synecdoche, New York" is so emotionally true that all the fantasy and weirdness of the plot just fades away, just the same way real dreams fade away when we wake up.

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Comments {3}


Ambitious and safe at the same time.

from: caestus
date: Jul. 20th, 2010 07:21 pm (UTC)

It was very Bond: just consider the snow battle-fortress with white machine guns and disposable thugs ("You can kill them, they're like white blood cells..." or some shit). (Filmed in Alberta, yay?)

It was decidedly male in an insipid way, that said I thought Ellen Page was good and I love Marion Cotillard. Outside the theatre we were wondering how much the music choice was an homage to her last noteworthy performance and how much was it scripted --and then perhaps she sought out and hired-- because of a meditation on regret.

I enjoyed the silliness of it because the actors sold it and it was beautiful. And a little bit ambitious--which we expect from Nolan--for a summer film.

I was one of about four people that really didn't like The Dark Knight although I loved elements of it, I think it failed over all. O'Hehir's criticism is a bold and accurate one: Nolan cannot seem to get past his own fan-boy wouldn't-it-be-cool-if... At least he mostly succeeds. I'd rather a summer of his films than one Michael Bay film.

I will seek out Synecdoche, New York now upon your recommendation.

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