Dreams, World-building, & Mind – Inception Screenplay

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From the “INCEPTION” screenplay by Christopher Nolan (pp. 30-32):

EXT. PARISIAN CAFE – DAY

Cobb and Ariadne sit at an outdoor table.

COBB
They say we only use a fraction of the true potential of our brains… but they’re talking about when we’re awake. While we dream, the mind performs wonders.

ARIADNE
Such as?

COBB
How do you imagine a building? You consciously create each aspect, puzzling over it in stages… But sometimes, when your imagination flies-

ARIADNE
I’m discovering it.

COBB
Exactly. Genuine inspiration.

Cobb leans forwards and draws on the paper table cloth.

COBB
In a dream your mind continuously does that…

Cobb has drawn a circle made of two arrows.

COBB
It creates and perceives a world simultaneously. So well that you don’t feel your brain doing the creating. That’s why we can shortcircuit the process…

ARIADNE
How?

COBB
By taking over the creating part.

Cobb draws a straight line between the two arrows.

COBB
This is where you come in. You build the world of the dream. We take the subject into that dream, and let him £111 it with his subconscious

ARIADNE
But are you trying to fool him that the dream is actually real life?

COBB
(nods)
While we’re in there, We don’t want him to realize he’s dreaming.

ARIADNE
How could I ever get enough detail to Convince him that it’s real?

COBB
Our dreams reel real while we’re in them. It’s only when we wake up we realize things were strange,

Ariadne gestures around them-

ARIADNE
But all the textures of real life the stone, the fabric. cars… people… your mind can’t create all this.

COBB
It does. Every time you dream. Let me ask you a question: You never remember the beginning of your dreams, do you? You just turn up in the middle of what’s going on.

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