Like Lenny feels compelled to search for the murderer of his wife in Memento considering even when he realises the truth, as compelled have I been to write to you about a personal carthasis Ive had and still am going through that you indirectly have contributed to help me define and followingly changing myself after immersivly enjoying Inception on a level I never thought possible.
After seeing Inception and days after processing it and meeting good response on the forums to my theories of what the movies plot revolved around, I started to find myself in alot of feelings I experienced in the movie. Especially regarding fatherhood. I never thought I could become aware of that I have been stepping in my fathers footsteps, while I always thought I wasnt.
I live north in Norway, the town I live and was born and raised in is Tromsø, where the original version of Insomnia was shot which you again brilliantly converted.
I was born in 76', has always had a notion of being an unwanted kid but never could tell why. I was that kid that never followed class cause I was more interested in the things I never learned about in school; Movies primarily, music, the universe, the deep sea, ancient human civilizations, the thought of alien life, what else is there after death. Only class I shined in was English. Picked it up before learning my own language by just watching movies and tv. I was just thinking way too much and only had a selected few friends, the only one I could share my thoughts with on absolutely everything with was my elder brother, who became more of a father to me than our father ever was.
The way you wrote the Fischer's relationship in Inception has hit right home in my gut, and helped resolve everything between my father and me. Ive never connected as much to a character as Robert Fischer. My own dad hadnt seen me in 15 years until some years ago, because of my regret towards him. And Inception guided me into understanding and process that meeting now, some years later.
His problem...he was a heavy, heavy drinker that made a mindprison for my mother for 40 years. Something the outside and friends around never saw. Then she got breastcancer, beat it, and had her own calling and through that and realised what she had todo. She finally managed to cut loose and convinced me and my elder brother and elder sister to help and move in with her. She was gonna need all the support of getting over it all. Left a day he was gone on vacation. He came back to a half empty house. I carried alot of regret when thinking of him, mostly cause he was the one that put the foot down when I was young and chased my dreams: I qualified for the national cup in Table Tennis when I was 13. But my father stopped that from happening. He was dissapointed that I was good in sports, and not in school. So that became the turning point for me, so I turned to drugs and alcohol. 20 years of never knowing what I really wanted.
We look very much alike, my father and I. Used to anyway, and thats the only thing he seemed to be ever proud of. My mom waited 30 years to tell me that during her pregnancy with me, he thought she was carrying another mans child and demanded abortion. But my mother refused the pressure from all sides, even doctors feared her back could collapse. But she insisted. Her faith which she was doctrined in by my grandmother since a child, just wouldnt let her carry out an abortion. So she carried out my birth. And when my dad heard from everyone that he had finally got a son that looked like him, he fell on his knees in forgiveness too my mother and had never felt prouder. Even so, he went on a 3 week fishing trip the day I was born. I was born to fill a void my mother felt after she lost her firstborn, that died tragically on a 21st of December, the darkest day of the year. I was born on the brightest day of the year, 21st of June. I became the love child. Outspoken in early age and spreading laughs around in an otherwise quiet family.
So there I was with my brother, seeing our dad again. Hadnt seen him in 15 years. And it was a heavy impact seeing him being nothing but a shadow of his former self, unrecognisable but I could still see his real face behind the features which had scarred him after years of being in hell emotionally and alcophysicly after we left him.
He thought for over an hour I was a friend of my brother. After a while I talked about leaving, but my brother insisted we stayd. Dad kept eyeballing me while we tried to remind him of who I was, suddenly he asked why I was so dark haired, cause the son he remembered in me was blond and 4 feet tall, 10 years old, and had a jokey smile on his face.
He finally recognised me and instantly rushed up from the couch he was lyin in. And called me his "only son" as my brother snapped a few shots. I had built up so much regret all these years towards my father, and in that moment let the positive emotions take hold , I couldnt say anything. Suddenly he remembered bits from the childhood. He remembered me trying to get him to quit smoking cigarettes back in the early 80s. I used to throw his packs of tobacco in the dumpstertruck as it used to pass. We shared one major laugh. A memory for life.
After the visit my brother said that during all these years that he had been taking care of our father (and he was the only familymember our dad had seen since we left) he had never seen him so happy as when he recognised me. And my brother started talking about what our father had gone thru after we left all those years ago. He sold the house he had built with his own hands, moved to Spain and drank away half of his money before being robbed, and was found naked in a ditch. Eventually got sent home, went mildly insane. And then placed in an elderly home near his familiar surroundings.
And not it until now after seeing the wonderful Inception, Ive managed to define and realise the importance of reconsilliation, ending the viciuous circle of hate and behaviour in father's legacies and that the positive emotions always must overcome the negative and to learn and use the slightest bit of positive in the worst negatives. Ive been a proud uncle for over a year now, and my nephew is very connected to me. I cant wait for him to talk, and start following his persona evolve. And Ill be there for him 100%, and always back him up.
And not strangely I cant find the words to describe how much your movies have meant to me. The way you and your brother's mindset is transfered into your movies has helped me therapeut myself, become a better thinker, listener and understander. The gravity of it is unimaginable to me at the moment. Im in total awe of your understanding of what troubles a persona, levels down in his subconscience and aware conscience, how to try to take hold of it, remember it , define it. And ultimatly I ended up defining alot in myself and many pieces of my own puzzle fell into place. My entire life I felt outta place, still do. But I never found my peace until now.
Seeing Inception the first time made me re-discover your god given limitless talent by the use of reality as much as you possibly could to make your lifelong dream of Inception. Making a blockbuster action movie while refusing 3D, barely using greenscreen and CGI for the most part to REMOVE props, and mainly focusing on the actors and dialoge must have been a near impossible idea to plant in the producers. But not after The Dark Knight I reckon. Free hands already is what I sense you have, and full backing.
The stuff that for the most part that has ripped the storytelling and soul out of movies is something youve clearly planted back again, and to major effect. I just knew after seeing Memento that here was someone who was born for making movies the way they should be made, and also make people think constructivly and creativly for themselves. The emotion in the acting pulled out of these people you direct; their performances in your movies..I saw you pull things out of Al Pacino I never had seen in him before. Bodylanguage directed in a way I had never seen before.
The playful ending with the top in Inception and the following endless discussions is simply reminded me of The Prestige; "They want to be fooled" and the mass audience are showing some wierd and funny theories of reality and dreams regarding Inception. Incredible how a movie can mess with someones mind. Shame is that people dont discuss the brilliance of the movie as much as its ending. But perhaps thats what you aimed for, I have a radical notion. In some years to come perhaps the mass audience will look past the top and truly recognize the simple, yet powerful truth.
Life now feels like a dream, I gotta be asleep to believe it. These past 9 months..so much have transpired. And Ive been on and off about sending this letter. I could write a novel about what more has happened, and I think I will end up doing that someday. Its just hard as hell to remember where to begin. Im most happy my sister returned after living abroad for 10 years. And she and my mom have been my Ariadne's in the wake of this awakening. My sister reminded me of SO much from my childhood, helping me put a lot of the puzzles back and see the real truth.
The Batman trilogy has ultimately led to me understand that my brother has truly been a father to me more than my father ever was. He has been my superhero through my youth. I just did not understand the value in that he was carrying a mask to protect and shield his dearest ones. And am forever grateful for him, and I cannot delve into his soul like Bane did, because taking his mask off will most likely be catastrophic for everyone around him. I believe firmly he will endure it, and be the same protector and father for his son.
Thank you Christopher. Im looking forward to a new beginning to this old soul.
You are for me, the Tesla of filmmaking.