For me, experiencingInception for the very first time felt as though the very fabric of my intensely curious mind was being unraveled at the seams by three of the world’s most fascinating subjects: dreams, M.C. Escher’s artwork and existentialism. Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece took the theory of lucid dreaming, the idea that the awareness one is dreaming gives one control over the dream itself, and Escher’s impossible mathematics driven imagery to the next level in the most intricate and revolutionary plot since The Matrix. He unveiled another layer of reality by infusing the story with a subconscious love story between Leonardo DiCaprio and Academy Award Winner Marion Cotillard that is ultimately thwarted by deeply rooted sense of existentialism. The sublime complexity of the film captivates viewers on such a personal, surreal level that it’s no wonder it’s maintained its #1 spot at the box office for the 3rd consecutive weekend.
There are several instances in the film that appear as though Escher’s work comes to life through the power of the dreamers’ imagination. The mind-boggling capabilities of the mind become so intense that in one scene it suggests that people collectively dream in order to create ‘their own reality’ because their real lives felt undeniably dull and empty in comparison. Here are few examples of Escher’s influence on the film:
Escher’s Relativity– the impossible fusion of perspectives into sets of interconnected staircases; Joseph Gordon Levitt’s gravity defying fight scene mirrors the same principals.
Escher’s Ascending and Descending– a never ending staircase that people can simultaneously walk up and down which comes in handy for the dream’s “architect.”
Lastly, our Orange County Web Design firm would like to share another tribute to Inception that isn’t completely inspired by M.C. Escher’s genius: