Culture news Without this famous sci-fi film, Inception by Christopher Nolan with Leonardo DiCaprio would have been very different and perhaps would never have seen the light of day
Some Hollywood films are real phenomena and Inception is undoubtedly part of this caste of cult feature films. But did you know that it draws its inspiration from a Japanese animated film?
A cult movie
Released in 2010, Inception remains one of the major works of Christopher Nolan, the director of films as stunning as Interstellar, Dunkirk, Tenet and Oppenheimer. With a budget of 160 million dollars (+ 100 for media and commercial promotion), this feature film tells the story of Dominic Cobb (known as Dom), a thief who infiltrates the subconscious with the idea to appropriate their deepest secrets. This ability has made him a highly sought-after man in industrial espionage, making him a fugitive hunted all over the world.
A final mission could nevertheless allow him to return to his former life, on the condition that he manages not to infiltrate a dream, but to implant an idea created from scratch in the mind of a person. This scenario, masterfully staged, required almost ten years of reflection from Christophe Nolan in order to fit together all the pieces of the puzzle. First thought of as a horror film (yes, yes), Inception becomes a thriller and a heist film like Ocean’s Eleven or Italian Heist. Filmed in the four corners of the planet (Japan, England, France, Kenya, United States and Canada), Inception received a rave reception and continues to fuel conversations more than ten years after its release. But did you know that another film of this type exists?
This may seem surprising, but Inception is not a plot entirely imagined by Christopher Nolan. Its universe, or rather its concept, actually comes from a Japanese anime published in 2006, four years before the work of the English director. Directed by Satoshi Kon, Paprika, that’s its name, does not depict the same scenario, but there are surprising parallels with Inception. In the work of the late Japanese director (he died in 2010), the viewer is immersed in a futuristic world where machines, the DC Mini, allow them to enter the world of other people’s dreams. Intended for psycho-therapeutic treatments, they will be stolen and diverted from their original use by malicious manipulators. Its designers will then embark on a dangerous investigation by trying to trace the thief(s). But during this time, accidents will multiply…
Just like Inception, Paprika is a work that aims to be quite complex in its development. The film is deliberately difficult to follow and, like Nolan’s film, requires several viewings to distinguish between dream and reality. One of the strengths of Satoshi Kon’s work lies in its sumptuous production, with special mention for the representation of dreams. A completely separate experience, Paprika is a whirlwind of colors and shapes that plays with rationality as we define it. It is certainly a testament film for its author and a unique work of animation. Therefore, by its difference and its artistic direction, we can understand that a director like Nolan was seduced by such a sensory explosion.