Nolan, DiCaprio Talk Inception
At Friday's Inception press conference at the Beverly Hilton, director Christopher Nolan reiterated the importance of dreams in relation to his upcoming mind-bender (opening July 16 from Warner Bros.): "I've been fascinated by dreams since I was a kid and the relationship between movies and dreams is something that's always interested me. I like the idea of trying to portray dreams on film… I think, for me, the primary interest in dreams -- and in making this film -- is this notion that your mind, while you're asleep, can create an entire world that you also experience without realizing [it].I think that says a lot about the potential of the human mind, particularly the creative potential…"
Meanwhile, Leonardo DiCaprio, who plays a corporate spy who invades people's dreams, admitted less of a fascination with dreams: "It was interesting being part of this film because I'm not a big dreamer; never have been. I remember fragments of my dreams and I tried to take a traditional sort of approach to researching this project and doing preparation for it. I read books on dream analysis and Freud's book on the analysis of dreams and tried to research it… but I realized that this is Chris Nolan's dream world. It has its own structure and its own set of rules he's created, so in doing that it was basically being able to sit down with Chris for two months, every other day, and talk about the structure of this dream world. The only thing that I obviously extracted from the research about dreams is that I don't think there's a specific science you can put on dream psychology. I think that it's up to the individual. We suppress things, emotions that [we experience] every day, thoughts that we obviously haven't thought through enough. And in that state of sleep, in our subconscious, our mind randomly fires off different surreal story structures, and, when we wake up, we should pay attention to those things.
"What was very interesting to me was reading the original screenplay [by Nolan], and, obviously, this story structure was extremely ambitious in the fact that it was simultaneously [several] different states of the human subconscious that represented different dream states and each one affected the other… And what was startling to me was seeing it in the visual format: that's the sort of magic of movie making. You clearly identify one scenario over the other and it's a completely different experience…and it was a lot easier to understand than I ever thought it would be. And that's a testament to how engaging movies are and the visual medium is."