Rita Felski's keynote address was fascinating (see last post), she is a compelling speaker and very passionate about her topic. She spoke about the "hermeneutics of suspicion", a critical analysis approach or deconstructive (or close) reading approach that ascribes agency to the text and enables new "purchase" on existing texts. It has a hostile dimension, it is antagonistic but not paranoid or pathological. It was my first encounter with the idea of "suspicious" reading and I know I don't understand it very well just yet, but I did agree with her that it is "Much better to be criticized than ignored" (if you are a writer or a text) and that suspicious reading is better than reader indifference.
Yesterday I went and saw "Inception".
It has been receiving some amazing reviews and I believe it is truly worthy of them. Think "Dark City" meets "Matrix", only the story isn't lost to special effects - the effects are seamlessly interwoven into the compelling drama unfolding in such a way that you suspend your disbelief and are drawn into the intrigue. It is an intelligent film, a multi-layered film with interesting characters played by a wonderful selection of actors (I loved Ellen Page and Joseph Gordon Levitt in this). I heard that the script took ten years to perfect and you can see that in the beautiful intricacy of such a multifaceted plot that is still elegantly resolved at each level.
Leonardo Dicaprio as Dom Cobb was convincing, Leo has grown up. For me I think we first really started to see him maturing in films like "Blood Diamond" and playing roles within complex relationships like the rather depressing "Revolutionary Road" and the frightening "Shutter Island". This is a big move beyond any of those films and crystallizes him as being a versatile, compelling, mature and engaging actor. "Inception" is a great film and role for him.
Overall, you embark on a wonderful journey into the unconscious with this film and you will never think of dreams in the same way again. Five stars.