Sunday, July 18, 2010

NPR Talks 'Inception', and, The History of Female Action Heroes

Can't get enough 'Inception'? Have a Sunday glass of wine with Leonardo DiCaprio.

...recently the actor found himself traipsing the landscape of Inception while he slept.

"I entered the dreamscape and applied all the rules of Inception" to this dream, he recalls. "I knew I was dreaming, but I also didn't know that I had done this film, or [that] I was in a movie about the dreamscape. And I got to manipulate it from being a horrific nightmare into something quite positive."

Audio: 8:00

With Angelina Jolie's 'Salt' right around the corner, Talk of the Nation discusses the history of female action stars with Murray Horwitz. Here's a clip:

TONI: My nomination would be Ripley from the "Alien" quadrilogy films. I think she was one of the earliest kick-ass females.

CONAN: Indeed, after - half a century after she battled space creatures in "Alien," Ellen Ripley comes back at it in "Aliens" back in 1986, where she's sent to the planet as an adviser after the company loses contact with a team of Space Marines. In here, well, she's protecting Newt from the queen alien.

(Soundbite of movie, "Aliens")

(Soundbite of machine sounds, stomping)

Ms. SIGOURNEY WEAVER (Actor): (as Ellen Ripley) Get away from her, you bitch.

(Soundbite of roaring)

CONAN: Sigourney Weaver got an Academy Award nomination, I think, for that line.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HORWITZ: Actually, that line's the least of it. What's great about this - and then when I said somebody has pride of place, it is Sigourney Weaver as Ripley. I mean, this is probably the most comprehensive, most complete female action hero, in the second of those films, in "Aliens." And that's where she - by the way, she doesn't show cleavage. I mean, she doesn't - and she's not all dolled up in any way.

CONAN: No. It's all work clothes. Yeah.

HORWITZ: That's exactly right. And she's fully realized she has to confront herself and things in her...

CONAN: Mm-hmm.

HORWITZ: well as alien forces outside. And she's a real person. She's believable. She's bang on it. And she's the most comprehensively, well-turned character among the female action heroes.

It's probably better if you listen to it. Audio: 16:56

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