Edith Piaf vs. ‘Inception’s Mind Heist


Thanks to C. Robert Cargill for pointing out the video to the right on Twitter. For those of you continuing to look for clues and curiosities within Christopher Nolan’s Inception here comes one more this time taking a look at an interesting comparison having to do with Hans Zimmer’s score.

For those that own the soundtrack you’ll recognize the comparison music from Zimmer’s score as the first track on the disc, “Half Remembered Dream”. As noted in the video by YouTube user “camiam321,” the second piece is “Non, je ne regrette rien” performed by Edith Piaf, the music the characters in Inception use as their musical countdown for their “kick” back to reality.

Essentially, the theme to Inception is really nothing more than a slowed down version of Piaf’s song, this is something both Nolan and Zimmer addressed in interviews for Inception, one being the piece written up at CHUD.com. Here’s a snippet:

Said [Chris] Nolan: ‘Right at the beginning of our post-production process, I had to make the decision of “Do I get the sound department or do I get the music department?” Do I get Hans to manipulate that track until it sounds as if you’re hearing it through the dream, where it slows down and gets massive and all the rest. There was an interesting way to go; what I decided to do was give it to Hans and let him run with it and see if in some way it might inform elements of the score, because we always knew, we talked in early conversations about how towards the action climax of the film, there was going to be a need for the score to interweave seamlessly with this source cue, which is and extremely difficult technical thing to do.’

‘It was also a fun thing to do,’ said Zimmer. ‘At one point the ambition was for Chris and I — we like having a chat about these things. The ambitions are at one point you have the Edith Piaf song going on in 4/4 which cuts across a different time in ¾ and all these different sorts of puzzles and these Penrose, Roger Penrose-type constructions, and I think Chris and I were really pleased that we had three different times going on, three different things going on.’

I guess my ear isn’t well tuned enough to pick up on this on my own, but the more you think about the nature of the film and how things play out this is a musical decision that only makes sense. Give the video a watch and enjoy.

If you haven’t yet bought the score for Inception you can do so right here.

In other Inception news, it has just crossed the $100 million mark.