Saturday, August 07, 2010

An Inceptional Film for an August Gathering

Inception: Originated in 15th century Middle English as incepcion from Latin inception-, inceptio, from incipere to begin, from in- plus capere to take. Definition: an act, process, or instance of beginning (Commencement). Synonym - origin.

The Forwardian Arts Society held its monthly Film Lovers’ (aka Film and Chat) Gathering at The Pocono Community Theater in East Stroudsburg, PA on Friday August 6th to share the viewing of the film “Inception” and to chat about it in the theater’s café afterwards. A small number of film lovers attended the event which made the conversation more intimate providing everyone an opportunity to share their thoughts on the film in a very relaxed atmosphere.

The film, “Inception” was written, produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan and featured performances by Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Ken Watanabe and Cillian Murphy. The film is said to be a variant on the heist genre in which the thieves enters the dreams of their targets in order to extract information allowing them access to the object or information they desire.

Before watching the film, I read one review that said “Inception” was a typical Summer Blockbuster that was atypical in that it worked on an intellectual level as well. After seeing the film, I can say this observation was exactly on the mark. It had all the action one would expect from a “Summer Blockbuster” which made it exciting to watch but it also had a depth to it that made it very intere4sting to reflect upon afterwards. This aspect of the film was quite evident during the discussion following its screening among those who attended the gathering.

Although I found the action of the film quite exciting, there were some who felt violence was a distraction taking away the film’s potential as an exploration into the world of dreams. The film presented a number of body guards and hit men sporting an array of guns and other munitions. They were said to be projections of the thieves’ quarry’s subconscious. One participant noted the projections of her subconscious aren’t hit men carrying guns. “They are family members with much more devastating weapons at their disposal.”

While watching the film, I could not help but to compare it to the “Matrix” films especially as one of the characters (played by Michael Caine) was referred to as an Architect which was the originator of the program in which the human denizens of Earth was incepted with so their dreams would be made real for them. I began to imagine “Inception” could serve as a prequel to the “Matrix” films exploring where the technology came from. Of course, this may just be my imagination going beyond the filmmaker’s vision but this is exactly what a good film inspires its audience to do.

Another point made during the gathering’s discussion was the dreams in film were too linier. It was felt a more pronounced usage of dream logic would have made the film even more interesting. I agree but I also understand why the producers opted to focus on the action aspects and downplay the metaphysical elements of the film. Money.

The film might have received even more critical praise, inspire more reflective conversation, and influence more film makers if it explores the very nature of dreams more fully. However, it would not be as commercially successful as it currently is. At least, this is what the perception of many studios and producers have. So, the film can be considered a compromise in this respect. But, it still is a very good film.

“Inception” is rated PG-13 and is being shown at The Pocono Community Theater in East Stroudsburg, PA. The Theater presents independent and foreign films not commonly shown in larger theater complexes. Most films run one week but some films may be held over for an additional week or two depending on ticket sales. The Theater also presents film and non film related events serving the cultural needs of the community including two Artists’ Receptions taking place on Saturday August 14th beginning at 1pm titled, "Torn and Frayed" and "Color My World". The Exhibitions continue until September 26th. Please Explore The Pocono Community Theater Website at or call 570-421-3456 for more information about their films, the exhibitions, and all they have to offer.

Our next Film Lovers’ (aka Film and Chat) Gathering will be Friday September 3rd beginning around 4pm which will include sharing in a viewing of a selected film followed by a discussion afterwards in the theater’s café. A free beverage will be provided to those wishing to participate in the discussion. All film lovers are welcomed to join us to watch a film and participate in an enjoyable conversation. You’ll find more photographs taken during the discussion of the film “Inception” on Friday August 6th in The Forwardian Arts Society Film and Chat Gathering 2010 Gallery at

The Forwardian Arts Society is a fellowship for people who love the arts seeking to enhance the creative community by encouraging those interested in the arts to go forward toward their dreams, by supporting those groups and individuals who are manifesting their dreams through performances and/or presentations, and by loving them and all they do. Beside our Film Lovers’ Gathering, other future gatherings of The Forwardian Arts Society will take place at The Cheeky Monkey Coffeehouse in Stroudsburg, PA and include a Music Lovers’ Gathering on Thursday August 19th at 6pm, a Literary Lovers’ Gathering on Thursday August 26th at 6pm, and a Visual Arts Lovers Gathering on Sunday September 5th at 3pm. There is also a Photography Lovers Gathering on Saturday September 4th taking place during Stroudfest 2010. Please Explore The Forwardian Arts Society Website at or call 570-269-3348 for more information about the fellowship and all it has to offer.

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