Tenet was it worth the wait? kinda yes?

This is a spoiler free review of Tenet, yes … Although I’d love to discuss it with others who have seen it soon.

I gave Tenet 8 out of 10. Yes its worth watching, twice (this is what I have done). You will need to see it twice to fully appreachate all of whats going on. The cinematography is top notch in Tenet, expect awards for this.

Its what Nolan is so good at, immersive pacey stories, in Tenet he’s run a little wild with the complexity. Don’t worry there is moments of calm and explaining whats actually happening throughout the film, but not a lot to make it feel boring or make the audience feel talked at.

We all know Nolan loves playing with the 4th dimension of time, although Tenet isn’t about time travel as such. Its likely the easist way to explain it to people but when you see the effect it makes for more difficulty than it needs to be.


It is complex yes but not Primer complex (spoilers ahead)… If you put Memento at one end and Inception at the other. It would be somewhere in the middle, although the actual concept of inversion is somewhere closer to the 5th dimension tesseract of interestellar. Nolan helps the audience understand the concept slowly then drops the ball on you but helps by colour coding whats actually happening from which point of view. It makes sense when you see the scene.

Tenet has all of Nolans mates (Sir Micheal Cane, Kenneth Brannagh, etc) are in the film but this time I think for the first time, the stars of the film are minorities not white men. I won’t say much more but Nolan plays with this throughout the film to good effect. Its a stark contrast to a number of previous films which he has been critisied for. Its got everything of the other big Nolan films except I would suggest the heart of Interstellar. The story with Kat is believeable and maybe if I saw the full uncut version (I saw the IMAX 12A version) I might feel stronger for Kat and her motovations. Its not as strong as the relationship of Coop and Murph in Interstellar.



There is signs of Nolans notions of storytelling too, with John David Washington actually calling himself the protagonist, then being cut down to say he’s one of a few protagonists. Nolan made clear this needed to be shown in CInemas especially the IMAX and I agree, the aspect ratio is 2.20 : 1 and its shot with lots of close up shots, making you feel like a mouse looking up a lot of the time. Its 100% shot with IMAX cameras and going to be a interesting crop on 1.85:1 (widescreen)

Question I had and sure others have (without reading the reviews), will there be a second Tenet? Tenet doesn’t do what inception did at the end but like interstellar could easily make a sequal if there was interest. There is a lot of bigger view questions which are not answered and could make a neat sequal.

Is Tenet actually a Inception sequal or prequal? I would say no but there is a parts missing where they could fit together quite nicely. I would suggest if this is true, Inception would be the prequal to Tenet with the CIA and rouge figures using technology for different purposes than first intended.

End of the day its a very good film but not going to knock Inception off the top spot.

Updated Thursday night

The Falken asked me, was it worth the risk?

I realised I didn’t actually say much about my experience of going to the cinema during Covid19. This is the context which is why Tenet was so important to cinema.

I went to the VUE Manchester which is in the city centre, meaning I could walk to the cinema and back home without using any transport at all. Bookings were done online, when you book there is 4 seats either side of you also booked (aka 2 per side). If you book for 2 people, exactly the same is applied instantly after confirming. This is also where they capture your info for the UK government track and trace

Booking cinema tickets

The seats are the modern cinema seats so there is quite a distance between people in front and behind. On arrival to the cinema, there is the usual one way in and one way out. There is no kiosk with people just ushers with PPE directing you. I believe you can buy a ticket from a automated kiosk which happened to be on the ground floor and away from everything else. Of course there is hand sanitizer everywhere and its the good stuff, which sprays and melts into the skin without much rubbing.

Ticket checks are done with the e-ticket/barcode on your phone at a safe distance. There are arrows everywhere and the food and drinks are still available but everything is now behind the counter. Entry times are staggered with longer adverts and more trailers (also kinda funny seeing the trailers for films which should have been out in April/May/June 2020! This is certainly something you would have thought Hollywood would have a grip on – certainly a reason for object based media).

The cinema doesn’t feel full with only a capacity of about one quarter (objectively). Like most of the UK masks are required indoors except when eating & drinking. As the cinema is a mix, you can walk around with no mask but its discouraged.

I personally wore my mask on both days I visited the cinema, all the time on day one and all the time except when eating icecream during the adverts and trailers. I certainly wasn’t the only one, as most people I could see before the lights went down were wearing masks in the cinema.

I choose the first showings of the day to insure the cinema would be very cleaned and setup for the next day. Having worked in cinemas in the past I know how little time you get to clean in between showings. I assume the times would change to allow more cleaning time now, but it seems to be another 10mins on top of the usual 20mins. Maybe there might be more staff cleaning now?

Generally I felt quite safe, the IMAX is a massive theatre with a lot of space even if someone gets up in the middle for the toilet (although they needed to go out the back down the stairs and back in from the front again), there is plenty of space to walk in front for a split second. If I was in a smaller cinema I might feel less safe.

On a whole it was good both times and I’ll visit when WW1984 hits the IMAX. By the way, I’m not so keen on the tag line in the UK for Tenet of “Bond on acid”

Visiting the cinema to see Tenet on 26th Aug


I like this trailer unofficial trailer

I have been waiting for the cinemas in the UK to fully open to finally watch Tenet on the IMAX screen. Its 10 years since Inception and although I did spot a few cinemas replaying inception but there was no way I’d watch it unless it was on the IMAX screen.

I booked my ticket for Wednesday 26th August and while booking I noticed there is 2 clear seats either side of me. This is good but also great to know masks are required (unless eating/drinking – not sure how they maintain this?) Either way Vue have created a Covid19 video explaining what they have done.

Looking forward to finally seeing Tenet the way Christopher Nolan wanted it to be

10 years of Inception

Inception is a special film for me. 10 years since I left hospital, bought my flat and one of the first films I saw was Inception at the Manchester IMAX and was blown away, so watched it and again and again (hey I was signed off with a brain injury – Inception was helping me)

Peering into the science of dreams with inception

Inception included a lot of the tips, used in dreaming circles. Things like the totem which is actually a reality check.

I also listened/read Inception and Philosophy and it brought a whole different perceptive to the film. As its 10 years, I’ll lightly spoil the ending

Everybody is so caught up with if the totem falls or keeps spinning. signifying if its still a dream or not. But he’s something which will change the way you think about inception again.

Does the top fall at the end of the movie after the screen cuts to black? If it does, then Cobb is awake; if it doesn’t, then Cobb is still dreaming. A careful examination of the film, however, shows us that this is not the case.

First of all, Cobb’s totem is extremely unreliable as a dream detector. Arthur specifically points out, when telling Ariadne about totems, that they work only to tell you that you are “not in someone else’s dream.” So even if the top falls, Cobb could still be in his own dream. Totems have this weakness because, if the dreamer knows how the totem behaves in reality, the dreamer could dream that it behaves that way; and obviously the owner of a totem knows how it behaves in reality. This is why you don’t want anyone else to touch your totem. If anyone gets a hint of how it is supposed to behave, they could dream that it behaves that way, and then your totem couldn’t tell you that you are not in their dream world.

Despite all this, Cobb tells Ariadne, specifically, how his totem works. When she asks if the concept of a totem was his idea, Cobb says, “No . . . it was Mal’s actually . . . this one was hers. She would spin it in the dream [and] it would never topple. Just spin and spin.” So the top can’t tell Cobb that he is not in Ariadne’s dream; she knows how it works. And in fact, since she is the architect of all the dream layers in the inception, couldn’t she have (even inadvertently) worked the law “All tops fall” into the very physics of the dreams she designed? How could spinning his top ever tell Cobb that he has left the dream layers of the inception?

And wait . . . what was that? Look at that quote again. The totem was Mal’s? Well that’s just great! Sure, Cobb thinks Mal is dead; and if she is, then he doesn’t have to worry about being in her dream. But Cobb thinks she’s dead because he believes the world in which Mal threw herself from the window (the real world) is real. The only way he could come to that conclusion, however, is by spinning the top and watching it fall—but wouldn’t that be circular reasoning?

Besides, who doesn’t know that tops fall after they are spun? We have no idea how Arthur’s die is weighted, or how Ariadne’s chess piece is supposed to work. But if Cobb spun his top in anyone’s dream, wouldn’t they dream that it fell? So sure, if the top did keep spinning, after the screen went black, that would tell us Cobb is still dreaming. But the top falling wouldn’t tell us anything!

Yes that and many other aspects of inception are deconstructed to a point my mind actually started to change/hurt. Not ideal for someone who just had a bleed on the brain but regardless I kept listening.

This book, research into dreams and other neuroscience books was how I came up with the idea of mydreamscape.

Welcome to mydreamscape.org

I spent quite a time afterwards thinking and researching how to create a service which allows people to share dreams but within a smaller social network, but hide details for people or groups. It was tricky as it could be solved with code but I was looking for something off the shelf.

I recently looked to see how dreamboard, lucidopedia and shadow are doing? Lucidopedia is no more, dreamboard seems to be around still but less prominent now. Shadow is still making big claims but who knows how much is hype and real? Looking at the kickstarter page, it seems to be all hype and people are peed off about it.

There is still something which keeps me thinking its a very good idea if implemented in a privacy preserving way. I thought about how it could work long and hard especially with abuse, but not seen anything which quite works the way I feel it could work… yet! Who knows maybe one day it will all make clear sense.

This is why Inception is a masterpiece and a 10/10 in my book.

Tenet and Inception, only separated by 10 years? I doubt it!

I know there is a ton of fan theory’s about the connection between Inception and Tenet.

I’ll be honest I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a link, as its almost exactly 10 years between them both. My thoughts are, there is at low end. The same company could be at play for the sleep sharing device and the “glove” which creates time inversion. On the other end (wild side) of the scale, I do wonder if Cobe’s children from Inception could feature in Tenet?

I will be signing up to watch this in the Manchester IMAX cinema, likely at midnight or a very late showing to avoid as many people as possible. While wearing a mask in the dark.

Where I watched the end of Lost 10 years ago?

Today I reminded that its 10 years since the end of Lost.

I was a fan and watched every single episode trying to work out the theory 0f what was gong on. But I don’t know if I ever shared how I watched the last 2 episodes of Lost.

Having been in hospital 10 years ago during #mybrushwithdeath, I had moved from Salford hope ICU to a standard stroke ward. In the standard stroke ward I could use my laptop again and my ex brought in my laptop with the last 2 or maybe 3 episodes on it.

My memory of Lost was lying in bed trying to get comfortable watching Lost from 11pm – 2am with headphones. I was blown away by what I was seeing and hearing. It was unreal and to be fair I never could watch it again as I would ruin what I experienced the first time around. I loved it and seeing it a few weeks after experiencing a life and death situation of my own was just too much for me. I did finish it but the emotion hit me hard.

For me the end of lost was a momentous moment which I won’t forget. (Well thats a lie, 10 years later I forgot…).

Don’t worry in July I watched Inception for the first time and lost was pretty much forgotten by then.

The dream has become their reality

Inception Mombasa

Imran posted a link to me from Wired magazine around Lucid Dreaming.

I had a good old read and found it very interesting and similar to how I’ve understood the current state of lucid dreaming.

Lucid dreaming has been slowly gaining prominence in recent years. The release of Christopher Nolan’s 2010 science-fiction blockbuster Inception— in which corporate spies sneak into their marks’ dreams to steal their secrets and implant bad ideas — was a landmark moment. (The spies use a top as a tool for reality tests; if it spins indefinitely, then they know they are in the dream state; if it falls, they are awake.) Nolan said that the film was inspired by his own experience of lucid dreaming and that its ambiguous ending—the camera lingers on a spinning top, leaving viewers to wonder whether or not it will fall—should be taken to mean that “perhaps all levels of reality are valid.” Google searches for “lucid dreaming” spiked around the movie’s release and have never returned to pre-2010 levels. And the internet, of course, has helped. A constantly updated Lucid Dreaming forum on Reddit has accumulated more than 190,000 subscribers.

Later in the piece there is some rough and ready double blind experiments with Galantamine in the equivalent Inception’s Mombasa dream den.

The workshops have also provided him with a way to move his own research ahead. They have given him access to a group of people who are willing to participate in his studies, even if they aren’t certified by a lab.

Eames: They come here every day to sleep?

Elderly Bald Man: [towards Cobb] No. They come to be woken up. The dream has become their reality. Who are you to say otherwise?

Extending REM has been a dream (pun intended) for many and Galantamine might be a step towards this. Its been mentioned on a few blogs and forums I’ve seen but never really looked into it. Any notion of a drug to extend this is worrying for me personally but like microdosing each to their own I guess.

Galantamine is not a magic bullet, though; it can trigger nasty side effects like headaches, nausea, and insomnia. And it can work too well—cautionary tales of galantamine-induced nightmares can be found alongside success stories. “It felt like my brain was being drawn and quartered,” one lucid dreamer wrote. “I kept falling back asleep into these bizarre dreams that I can only describe as my head being scraped against the bottom of a submerged iceberg.” “It felt like I was falling through my bed and all these loud screeching sounds and vibrations started happening,” testified another. “It was so scary and I felt paralyzed.”

The wired piece centres around Galantamine and the study of it on Lucid dreaming. The study to date is questionable, but like the quantified self community, its good to see someone trying something. Although I personally would have declared something under competing interests, as Stephen LaBerge did setup the Lucidity Institute.

Regardless its all very interesting and thanks to Imran for the post…

The realm of third-party trackers on Android

Luman android root cert

I was excited to learn about Lumen Privacy Monitor, as I’ve always wondered about the apps I have installed even when I have restricted the permissions wanted from the installed app.

New research co-authored by Mozilla Fellow Rishab Nithyanand explores just this: The opaque realm of third-party trackers and what they know about us. The research is titled “Apps, Trackers, Privacy, and Regulators: A Global Study of the Mobile Tracking Ecosystem,” and is authored by researchers at Stony Brook University, Data & Society, IMDEA Networks, ICSI, Princeton University, Corelight, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

“This is the start of a long project to uncover all the hidden data collection and data dissemination practices on the internet,” Nithyanand explains.

“There’s a huge lack of transparency around how mobile applications behave,” adds Narseo Vallina-Rodriguez, a co-author and researcher at ICSI. “People install software, but don’t know what that software is doing.”

The paper’s introduction lays out a troubling scenario: “Third-party services inherit the set of application permissions requested by the host app, allowing them access to a wealth of valuable user data, often beyond what they need to provide the expected service.”

To study this scenario, the researchers used Lumen Privacy Monitor, an Android app they built themselves over a two-year period.

So I installed it just to see what was going on with my Android devices. But there is a problem… Best summed up in this comment from Wcat.

Not open source? TLS interception? Before you install this stop and think about TLS interception. “Those who would trade privacy for security deserve neither.”

Luman asks for permissions to install its own root certificate, and this deeply worries me. TLS inception isn’t a trivial thing to be honest, I know its needed but it had me questioning how I really want to monitor the apps? Also if I remove the app, will the certificate be removed too/how would I know?

Right now, I’m keeping an eye on the app but haven’t installed the root cert yet.

Inception, distraction and the war for your attention

Inception

Its been hard keeping on track and not being sucked into all the other things around me. Of course the biggest thing has been the Manchester arena bombing which was shocking and of course ever so sad (especially for those involved or lost their lives to this mindless act of violence). But generally the amount of noise/static, peer/social pressure and people telling you to pay attention to their thing is pretty bad.

Of course this also has a massive bearing on the happiness and wellbeing of people too (feel like I should have been writing this a few weeks ago during mental health awareness week). I’ve watched how colleagues & friends have struggled not to stay distraction free from stuff others have pushed their way. I have offered to help and sometimes suggested removing certain apps or changing certain settings. Sometimes its been useful, sometimes its worked for a short while but theres not the motivation or drive to follow it through.

I totally understand why… heck we’re all human!

It’s not easy, heck there’s a whole industry setup to shift your attention/reality into their world. Some of it is the bubble where you are like Silicon Valley, but also the systems/pressures around us as summed up so well by Tristan Harris and Sherry Turkle. It’s really dark patterns stuff but it’s so ubiquitous we don’t question them. It’s like a friend who messaged me and asked if I was in a place because she couldn’t see me on Whatsapp, or the notion that if it’s not on Spotify it can’t/doesn’t exist. Someone seemed a little puzzled when I mentioned Spotify doesn’t have most music (crazy but true)! Or even when I decided I wasn’t going to do the icebucket challenge.

yoga

Once the mind is bought into the system and ultimately their opinionated world, its extremely difficult to leave it. (The book – The confidence game, I’m currently reading which is about cons actually has a bit to say about this all)

Magic Trick

I would actually go as far as to say for all the difficulty of stringing together system and services yourself (like free software/open source/decentralised/federated systems). Its forces you to come up with your own world narrative and thoughts; and I’m very sure independent thinking is critical for wellness, health, self-confidence, resiliency and character!

Its slightly ironic only 9 days ago I was in Sarah Raad’s Gratitude Habit workshop during Thinking Digital Newcastle. I’ve been practicing my gratitudes most days including the Monday night of the Manchester arena bombing. Even been thinking of Tweeting them or Tooing them via Mastodon, because most are not secret or really private. I also want to establish that having a gratitude about places which are not full of nature, noisy and busy is as valid as the typical stuff you imagine when you talk about wellness and health.

yoga sunset

Its the point of independent thought. I’m sure Sarah would say deep down underneath most of this will be common human traits or those of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

La Défense, Paris

I guess the point I’m trying to make is… develop your own mindset and don’t be directed into someone elses. Yes it will be difficult but ever so rewarding in the long run.

Optogenetics the real inception?

Limitless s1ep13

Talking about Limitless from the previous blog, I found Limitless season 1 ep 13 interesting in relation to Inception.

Spoiler alert…!
If you have not seen this episode and interested in watching it, spoiler free. Do not read anymore…

You have been warned…

In limitless s1ep13: Stop Me Before I Hug Again

Brian embarks on his first FBI field assignment when he travels to Quantico to lend his skills to the bureau unit that catches serial killers. However, the trip takes a negative turn when Brian realizes the man he’s working with may have put away an innocent person in the career-making case that made him a renowned profiler. Also, Brian tries to stay one step ahead of Rebecca as she comes closer to discovering Senator Morra’s connection to NZT.

At the end he finds out people are being engineered into commiting murder by optogenetics. At some point I’m sure Brian even suggests this sounds like Inception.

Optogenetics — a radical new technology for controlling brain activity with light. Not as new you may think, by the way.

Its very interesting to think about and conjures up many visions and thoughts including the end of mind alternating drugs? However…

What works in mice and monkeys may not work in humans. There are also open questions regarding immune reactions, how deeply light spreads through brain tissue, and how well opsins will work over time. Optogenetics-derived therapies are far off, and will have to not only face the hurdle of FDA approval, but also prove superior to current treatments like deep brain stimulation.

Wait till the black market gets a hold of this… (this is sounds much closer to inception)

 

Inception as a TV programme?

Film references

Following the success of Limitless the TV series, maybe its time for Inception the TV series? I mean its been talked about in many circles, heck there was the motion comic, and even REM which became Awake.

Jonathan Nolan has been behind Person of Interest for quite some time, and even helped out Christopher Nolan (brother) and creator of Inception.

They say TV is the new Cinema, well maybe its time? Christopher? Chris please?

Inception as a TV series?

inception the cobol job

Myself and Chris were talking about a number of things at breakfast in Vivid Lounge as we do. We got talking about the Marvel and DC universe and the state of cinema and TV media.

I mentioned, TV is the new cinema.

Forget what you’ve read about cinema’s dominance over the small screen. Television has plenty to teach the movies about characterisation, storytelling and breaking new talent.

And the differences and experience between Cloud Atlas and Sense 8 for the Wachowskis. TV allows for build up and character building cinema can only dream about. This is especially good when thinking about universes such as the Marvel one.

Chris said he would love to see inception as a TV series? I obviously am in total agreement.

This isn’t anything new but it certainly got me thinking about other films which could be better told in a TV series and heck a game/experience?

It strikes me that any film with plot device like eternal sunshine of the spotless mind, chronicle, etc… could work. Similar to person of interest, where small things happen every episode but theres a over arching plot leading to something much bigger.

An ex-assassin and a wealthy programmer save lives via a surveillance AI that sends them the identities of civilians involved in impending crimes. However, the details of the crimes–including the civilians’ roles–are left a mystery.

I mention person of interest because the director is Jonathan Nolan, who is Christopher ‘Inception’ Nolan’s younger brother.  Who knows maybe a Inception TV series isn’t as far fetched as first thought?

Inception is a metaphor for cinema?

Abandoned Cinema

…One of the coolest ideas behind the film “Inception” is that the entire film was widely reported on the internet to be a metaphor for cinema. Cinema creates an artificial dream world and invites the audience into that dream that we then fill with our subconscious. We already have dream sharing technology. It’s called cinema.I am a story junkie and I am immersion junkie.

The dream is real…? Now that makes sense…

I had never heard this but then again at the build up of Inception, I was kinda of busy. Mind blown!

This was taken from a interview with Jason Silva. It really got me thinking while reading it on my kindle today. I specially love this reply to Why are you so fascinated about what happens to our brains when we watch movies?

Diana Slattery writes that Immersion is a “necessary precursor for any kind of interpersonal persuasion or transformation to occur”..  Janet Murray writes that we “long to be immersed” and that we “actively metabolize belief in story”… because we are effectively narrative beings.

I’m fascinated by the liminal spaces we enter when we are absorbed by cinema: that magical borderland between dreams and reality, the space of archetype, of myth, of madness and ecstasy, the landscape of the imagination, freed from the constraints of time/space/ distance.
Cinema is the realm of subjectivity. The only technology that allows us to enter the mind of another.  Cinema is cartography for the mind.   As Gene Youngblood wrote: “cinema reflects mankind’s historical drive to manifest his consciousness outside of his mind in front of his eyes”
Love it… We long to be immersed, we have always wanted to manifest our consciousness for others to be immersed in…

Who’s dream are we in, Mr Charles

Film references in small cartoons about glasses of water

I don’t know who originally wrote the one on the left but I saw George Takei tweet about it from Josh’s Retweet. Instantly got me thinking about inception (specially since I recently watched it again).

Such a great film and love the scene about Mr Charles. Originally I was going to put “my first thought is: wheres mr charles?” but decided it was too insider baseball. So I must be dreaming won out over mr charles and who’s dream am I in?

Only after watching it the 40+ time did I notice there is no opening credits for Inception