Tag Archives: Inception Train Scene

Inside Inception’s Rotating Hallway Fight Scene

Last week, we took an in-depth look at Inception (click here to read), one of my favorite films of all-time, and timely since Inception’s director, Christopher Nolan, just turned in the best movie I’ve seen this year thus far in Dunkirk.  In my article, I mentioned Nolan’s preference for doing any kind of F/X practically rather than with CGI if it can be humanly done (even when it’s flipping a tractor trailer in The Dark Knight).  CineFix, who should be paying me to hype them at this point, doesn’t just make great movie lists, it also has a feature called “The Art of the Scene” where they dissect an amazing scene, show you how it was done and why it works in the film.  I almost included this behind-the-scenes piece in my article, but it’s a fascinating look at the rotating hallway fight from Inception.  Whereas most directors would have inserted the actors into a CGI environment, Nolan went a very different route.  It’s a fascinating look at an amazing scene.

This fight uses no CGI other than to remove the wires Joseph Gordon Levitt and the other actors are wearing.  A full-scale hallway was built and then put on a giant gimbal which rotated the room.  The fight takes place in a critical moment in the final job, when the van that’s carrying the team around has gone off a bridge, creating a zero-G effect that ripples down the various levels of the dreamworld you see in the map.  For Arthur (Levitt), who is in the shallowest level, he loses gravity entirely and the result is an amazing fight scene, made all the more amazing when you know how Nolan and Pfister shot it.

Leonardo DiCaprio in Inception

Top 5: Scenes from Inception (IMDB Top 250 #14)

Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, and Ken Watanabe in InceptionEvery other month, we take a look at a movie from the Internet Movie Database’s List of the TOP 250 FILMS OF ALL-TIME.  These are movies that transcend a simple “My Favorite Scene” column.  These are movies that are hard to just pry five gems from, but we do and examine the film overall.  We’re on our fourteenth installment in this series.  Click on the link here to check out previous installments from #1 The Shawshank Redemption to #13 Forrest Gump.

Joseph Gordon Levitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in Inception

Inception is our fourteenth installment in this series, and what a perfect example of a film you simply cannot highlight in one scene.  When Alfred Hitchcock was gone, everyone asked who would be the next Hitchcock.  When Steven Spielberg lost his touch, people began asking who was the next Spielberg.  Christopher Nolan isn’t the next anything.  In an age when cinema has become largely cookie cutter, Nolan has risen to become film’s best director, and in 40 years people will be asking who the next Nolan will be.  Inception is, in my opinion, Nolan’s best film, and a film so original and yet filled with so many classic elements of different genres that Nolan was able to make his dense script a hook audiences were willing to push themselves to understand.  Combined with dazzling visuals, an amazing ensemble, Wally Pfister’s cinematography masterpiece, and a score from Hans Zimmer for the ages and you have one of the best films of the 21st Century. Continue reading Top 5: Scenes from Inception (IMDB Top 250 #14)