This film, directed by Christopher Nolan, deals with an unreliable narrator with a faulty memory. Guy Pearce stars as Leonard Shelby, who is on a search for the man who murdered his wife. A brain injury causes him to suffer from amnesia. Each day he wakes up with no recollection of what has happened the day before. To cope with this he tattoos notes on his body about who to trust and not to trust. The story unfolds almost in reverse order and seems to evolve in the same endless loop the hero is stuck in. A very unique film without appearing gimmicky.
Mulholland Drive (2001)
Mulholland Drive is directed by David Lynch, who is notorious for his surrealist films and ambiguous endings. This mind-bending thriller has many interpretations, but the most likely one is that most of the film is a fantasy or death dream. An aspiring actress named Diane, (who is Betty in the dream) loses a part to a rival and takes revenge. Unable to cope with what she has done she commits suicide. What the audience is seeing is her death dream and her way of coming to terms with what she had done. Within the movie is much symbolism, including a box and a key. The story comes together in a theater which might represent life and ends with the word Silencio. The film was considered for a TV pilot, which might explain its unusual presentation.. The director offers no explanation of what the film is about and viewers must form their own interpretation.
The Machinist (2004)
This psychological thriller stars Christian Bale, who plays Trevor Reznik, a machinist at a factory who is suffering from insomnia. He is skeletal from losing weight and suffering from some strange hallucinations. A mysterious man named Ivan keeps appearing that no one can see but him. He becomes increasingly paranoid which leads to his getting fired from his job. Trevor finally discovers that the cause of his hallucinations are a result of a suppressed memory of something he has done which is causing his subconscious to punish him.
Black Swan (2010)
This movie is a parallel to the movie the ballet company is producing in the film, Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. In Swan Lake, a woman is under an evil enchantment and must live in the form of a swan unless her true love saves her by swearing his love. When her love is tricked into declaring his love for someone else, she commits suicide. When a sheltered and protected young ballerina, Nina, (Natalie Portman) tries to take on the role of the black swan, she must assume evil and worldly traits that are not in her nature. Anxiety and fear of failure causes her to hallucinate and her personality to split into the white swan and the black swan. Her ambition to play both roles well leads to her own destruction.
This complex film, also by Christopher Nolan, is one of the most-discussed films of 2010. It has a multi-layered theme of dreams within dreams and a spinning top has become a much-discussed icon. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Cobb, a high-tech corporate con artist who is able to enter dreams and influence decisions. He is hired by a wealthy businessman to get into the subconscious of his dying competitor’s son and influence him to break up his vast holdings after his father’s death. But Cobb also has a secret of his own, which haunts him and others when his dead wife Mal starts showing up in the dream constructs he has created. Whether Cobb himself is in a waking or dream state is a matter of perception.