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David Carter

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781911325055

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781911325055.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Inception and the Arts

Inception and the Arts

(p.95) 7. Inception and the Arts

David Carter

Liverpool University Press

This chapter looks at the specific artistic references in Christopher Nolan's Inception (2010). One artist is referred to by indirect reference and visual simulation of some of his works, and another is paid homage to by the inclusion of one of his works in a scene. The artists in question are M.C. Escher and Francis Bacon. The Dutch artist Maurits Cornelis Escher, famous for his works featuring constructions which would be impossible in the real world, is not directly named in the film, but he is referred to indirectly by the mention of a phenomenon which he utilised in his work: the so-called 'Penrose Steps'. Meanwhile, in a sequence in which Cobb is talking to Mal, there is a painting visible on the wall of the room, Bacon's Study for a head of George Dyer, 1967. Nolan clearly shares some perspectives on the world with Bacon: a fascination with distorted reality, a sense of horror as in a nightmare, and, in some cases, the real world being actually torn apart.

Keywords:   artistic references, Christopher Nolan, Inception, M.C. Escher, Francis Bacon, Penrose Steps, distorted reality, real world

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