inner space & airy popcorn-fodder

Jian Cho

Banned
Chinese
Hi. I was reading a review of the movie Interstellar and I came upon an interesting phrase.
Inception posed questions without clear answers. Interstellar provides all the answers — you just might not understand the question. This is Nolan at his highest-functioning but also his least accessible; a film that eschews conflict for exploration, action for meditation and reflection. This [Interstellar] isn’t the outer to Inception’s inner space (his dreams-within-dreams are airy popcorn-fodder by comparison), but it does wear its smarts just as proudly. Yet for the first time, here Nolan opens his heart as well as his mind.

Full article at Empire: Interstellar
Some context: In the movie Inception, (also directed by Nolan) there are "dreams within dreams" meaning you create a dream within a dream to trick the dreamer's subconscious so that they don't notice that an idea is being planted in their brain.

What did the author mean by the sentence in bold? I usually write down a couple of guesses but with this, I have no idea.
 
  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "Popcorn-fodder" would be something to accompany by eating popcorn, or something to make you want to eat popcorn (at the movies). The idea is basically "empty cinematic entertainment."
     

    Jian Cho

    Banned
    Chinese
    So he's saying Interstellar is way better than Inception, right? That Interstellar has depth and Inception is just something you watch to pass the time?
    Also, what might he have wanted to say by "This [Interstellar] isn’t the outer to Inception’s inner space."? What is "inner space" in this context?
     
    Last edited:

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    What's "better"? I don't think you can simplify the author's comments to that level.
    Interstellar: you can't understand what he's saying, it's his least accessible film
    Inception: it's lighter and more enjoyable

    Interstellar takes place in outer space. Inception takes place inside the mind - inner space.
     

    Jian Cho

    Banned
    Chinese
    Oh, that's what he meant by space! I see.
    Forgive my silliness, but there's something I still don't understand. The author says "Interstellar isn't the outer to Inception's inner space." I still don't get this even though you said what he meant by "space."
    What does "being the outer to something" mean? I've never heard something like that.
     
    Last edited:

    Truffula

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    He means what Myridon said. I'll re-word it, maybe it will be clearer.

    Inception is about inner space. Interstellar isn't the outer space version of Inception.

    The expression used is "is the ____ to (someone's) ____" where the two blanks are opposite, opposing, or parallel.

    The usage in the example we're discussing negates it so instead of is, you have isn't. In the most standard usage, the "someone's" becomes "my." See listography: quotes (You are the ___ to my___) for a long list.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    outer (space) to inner space
    One of the repetitive "space"s has been removed for reasons of style.
    We switched from larger to smaller glasses to save money. It's understood to be "from larger glasses to smaller glasses."
     
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