“Inception” Score is Edith Piaf Song in Slow Motion

This is a dated article now written by  [13/09/2014 accessed], but for the fans of Nolan’s “Inception” (2010) who haven’t seen this yet, it will be a very interesting read. “The Edith Piaf song, “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien” is used by characters in “Inception” as an alarm to wake from dreaming. It’s a lovely touch, but one exploited by composer Hans Zimmer in assembling the film’s entire score.” Here is an audio comparison:

“Technically, Zimmer didn’t just slow the Piaf song down and call it a day, but extracted bits and then used his electroturdmatics to reconstruct a theme in varying “subdivisions and multiplications of the tempo of the Édith Piaf track,” he told [to the magazine]. Normally I’d be restraining myself from using foul language to discuss Zimmer’s approach to creating film scores, but credit where it’s due. I love the idea and the use of Piaf to achieve the encompassing theme. Zimmer is clearly still giddy over the whole thing. “So I could slip into half-time; I could slip into a third of a time,” he said, tripping his balls off over the tempo manipulations he employed to great effect. “Anything could go anywhere. At any moment I could drop into a different level of time.”

A question remains whether or not he will be eligible for Oscar recognition, given the Academy’s strict rules — is it Hans Zimmer or Edith Piaf we should be awarding? Zimmer first said he only extracted “these two notes out of a recording,” but later stated, “I didn’t use the song; I only used one note.” Perhaps both are true, depending on which level of time he happens to be dropping through. I think he’s at least one step ahead of the Academy.”

Zimmer’s score in “Inception” was nominated for the Academy Awards 2011 in the category of “Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score”. But, was it supposed to? And, how “original” Zimmer’s soundtrack really was? 

6 thoughts on ““Inception” Score is Edith Piaf Song in Slow Motion

  1. WOW! Inception is now officially the second biggest movie project to have a legacy of theft. I didn’t even know about that plagiarism issue. The bigger thing that Inception ripped off was the 2006 Satoshi Kon anime movie Paprika. Christopher Nolan totally stole multiple scenes, the concept of a machine taking one to the dreamworld, the dream/reality convergence, and event he idea of dreams within dreams is STOLEN from that movie. Not only that, but Kon died the year Inception came out and Nolan never owned up to plagiarizing to this day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment (and sorry for such a late reply!), and I completely agree. There was a LOT of influence of Paprika on Inception – Nolan borrowed some scenes and the concept, as you put it. Still, there are also major differences and I am not as angry about it as I am about Aronofsky’s Black Swan and Kon’s Perfect Blue. Aronofsky owns the Perfect Blue rights, but I still feel very bad about Kon’s creation and what has been done in relation to it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re certainly welcome and that’s okay. Yeah, there is no way Nolan didn’t know about Paprika when he made Inception. I understand your anger when it comes to Perfect Blue and Black Swan. Yeah, he used the rights for the “girl screaming in the bathtub” scene in Requiem for a Dream which was shot-for-shot from Perfect Blue, but I do agree that Aronovsky should’ve done more to put Kon’s name out there and Black Swan wasn’t as good as Kon’s debut work.

        Liked by 1 person

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