Sunday, January 26, 2014

Where Is That Beach in 'Inception'?


Places of Fancy locates the likenesses of fictional places. But how do you find a fictional place that is already fictional in the minds of fictional characters? 

Count on Christopher Nolan's Inception to deliver such paradoxes. The 2010 movie successfully reclaims "it's all a dream" from an annoying plot twist to a central conceit.  

One of the most surreal landscapes this film dreamed up is the sight of Leonardo DiCaprio walking along a beach with crumbling buildings. According to Seeing Stars, Nolan shot this sequence at Abalone Cove Shoreline Park in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. 

Thank you, CGI. But in the material world, this beach is surely in the ghost town of Varosha, Cyprus. 

IT WAS ALL A DREAM. A dream sequence in Inception (above) brings to mind the ghost resort town of Varosha (below). 

In the early 1970s, Varosha was the toast of Mediterranean decadence. Stars like Elizabeth Taylor and Brigitte Bardot would come to splay their heavenly bodies on lovely Cypriot sand and surf. To pleasure chasers, Varosha was borrowed heaven.

Varosha before the Turkish invasion. Photo via Simon Ward

All that changed in 1974, when the Turkish army invaded Varosha to stake their claim to Cyprus. Thousands were displaced. Even the United Nations stomping its feet did not deter the Turks, who have since fenced Varosha and would shoot unauthorized visitors on sight. 

FREE HOTEL ACCOMMODATION. Just be careful not to let soldiers shoot you.

A nightmare, that's what Varosha has become. As for Titanic believers, Inception is definitive proof that the events of 1912 were just a dream.

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