Sunday, May 11, 2014

Cervania - Reaction Paper: A Beautiful Mind, Inception & Dreaming: Cinema of the Subconscious (3)

Joselle D. Cervania 

A Beautiful Mind is a multi-award winning biological film based on the life of John Nash. The movie revolves around the journey of Nash to become a Nobel Prize winner. The story started with Nash arriving in Princeton University. It can be seen easily that he is having a hard time socializing as he appears awkward around a crowd but he isn’t a loner. He met a group of math and science graduate students whom later became close friends with him. But the person he considered closest to him during his college life is his room-mate and best friend Charles. Charles is the person he relied to during his most painful events.

 John Nash was a devoted and talented Mathematician, seeking for a new and original theory. He had an increasing pressure to publish but insisted on finding a unique one. He did came up with his original idea at a bar when he and his friends were discussing on how to approach a group of women. Soon, he successfully developed and published his idea. It was about the concept of governing dynamics, a mathematical theory in Economics.

                  After graduate school, he became a professor and taught calculus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He worked along with his friends Sol and Bender. Later on, John Nash met Alicia Larde who was an interesting and wise student. After dating a few times, they eventually fall in love. He married her and moved together.

                  He returned to visit his graduate school Princeton and runs into his former roommate Charles. He was with his niece Marcee and caught Nash’s heart as he adored the young girl. During that time, he thinks that he was invited to the Pentagon as an important decoder to crack an enemy’s telecommunication. Later on he was looking for patterns in magazines, newspapers and prints to find plots of the Soviet plans. He thinks that it was a special assignment by a suspicious supervisor William Parcher from the Department of Defense.

                  He wasn’t aware that what he experienced are not all real. But his wife Alicia became aware of it after she talked to Dr. Rosen, a psychiatrist. She tried helping her that his so called roommate Charles and his niece Marcee is only in his imagination. Parcher who he soon became traumatized with after witnessing a shootout, was also his imagination. For him to recover, he was sent to a psychiatric facility.
He wasn’t enthusiastic about it and thinks that there might be another way for him to recover as he hated the hospital he went to. He was right about it and soon, with the help of his wife, became more stable. The hallucinations were still with him but he soon managed to have the discipline of ignoring them. Then on he grew and became the head of the Princeton mathematics department thanks to his friend and rival Hansen. John Nash, in 1994 is honored by his co-workers for his achievements and later won the Nobel Prize for his work on game theory in Economics.

                  The movie A beautiful mind is truly an inspiring story as John, with his devoted wife, struggled but successfully fought a mental disorder called schizophrenia. The story gives motivation to the dreamers who are having a hard time dealing with their problems in life. John is truly amazing how his mind works and how he challenged himself to overcome something that is almost impossible for most of us. Not only being able to escape from his illness, he had the time to grow in other aspects in his life, shown on his accomplishments. His wife, Alicia is someone who I respected the most in the story as she gave Nash the most patient, caring and supporting person that she could be with the person she passionately loves.



“Dream is a series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person’s mind during sleep”
--oxford dictionary

                  Dreaming is a normal activity of any person on their everyday life. Most of us probably don’t remember the dreams we had as it isn’t usually significant to us. Some thinks that dreaming is where we experience the things we can’t do in our waking moments. Other thinks that dreaming is important as it tells us about our near future. Some says that dreaming even reveals a side of ourselves that we didn’t think of having but is still a part of us and our personality.
                  The film cinema of the subconscious explores the idea of the different kinds of dreaming, and the most interesting for me is the idea of lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming is being in the dream-state and consciously knows that the person is dreaming. Lucid dreaming usually happens only during the R.E.M. state or the Rapid Eye Movement sleep. This kind of dreaming enable us to do much more than watch our dreams like in a cinema.

Dreaming, for me, is something that tickles my creativity. The dream world is like an alternate and parallel universe where the rules is somewhat bent. Like the brain which has the left and the right part, life in waking moments are parts of the analytical consciousness. During the dream-state, the world we are experiencing is more creative and spontaneous. Dreaming is like living on a surreal world and by watching the film, it gives us some space to think more about how vast life is.



Inception is a 2010 British-American film, directed by Christopher Nolan who is famous for directing films that are mind blowing and has a lot of psychological story twists. The story of Inception revolves around Dominic Cobb, a foremost practitioner of the art of extraction. Inserting oneself into a subject’s dreams, then explores the mind of the subject in order to gather hidden information which is usually kept away from the trespasser such as Cobb. His practice of extraction was a concept taught to him by his professor and father in law, Dr. Stephen Miles. Cobb’s ability made him a wanted criminal due to his deceitful work of corporate espionage. Him being and international fugitive cost him to lose everything he loved.

Saito, a powerful corporate man gave him an almost impossible task in exchange of his freedom from his former life and as well a ticket to his home which Saito could make possible. He asked him to go one step further in Inception. He wanted to implant an idea into his rival’s son without him knowing. Cobb could make it possible by extraction in the subject, Robert Michael Fischer’s dream. The biggest obstacle in succeeding is the team becoming worried about one aspect of inception which Cobb tried to hide from the prior of the members and his new associate, Ariadne has a belief that Cobb’s own subconscious might be taking over the dreams. His subconscious projection of his wife Mal, has been trying to haunt Cobb all throughout the movie.

The film for me is not just about dreaming. A lingering warmth of the heart surrounds me I came up with an idea, an alternate story, which is more focused on Dominic Cobb. The stages of grief accompanies Cobb the whole movie. Cob has locked away pieces of his memories in his subconscious. These memories were mostly consist of vivid memories of his wife. Throughout the movie, the horror and the guilt of his wife’s death haunted him and made their job harder. In order to move onwards, he first needs to let go of what has been done and who’s not a part of their lives no longer. After dealing with himself, he now can’t be hold off and he could step forward and continue to live.

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