Earlier today, Gabe Adelman sent me a note re a supercut he’s just uploaded to his Dreamscience Vimeo site. Called “Subconscious Cinema,” it’s an excellent visual exploration of dreams in movies. Check it out!
Here is a list of the film excerpts featured in the supercut:
Sherlock Jr. 0:00
8 ½ 0:07
Little Nemo in Slumberland 0:09
The Big Lebowski 0:14
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 0:16
Blade Runner 0:20
A Nightmare on Elm Street 0:24
American Beauty 0:27
Inception 0:30 0:55
Vanilla Sky 0:32
Un Chien Andalou 0:35
Waking Life 0:38
The Wizard of Oz 0:46
Take Shelter 0:50
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World 0:59
Alice in Wonderland 1:03
The Matrix 1:06
Waltz with Bashir 1:12
The Cell 1:14
Shutter Island 1:22
Terminator 2 1:30
The voice-over narration used in the video comes from Waking Life, Spellbound and Inception.
Gabe’s supercut reminds us that dreams have a long history in filmmaking. Several reasons for this:
* They are visual which plays to the cinematic strength of this narrative form.
* They can reveal a character’s backstory and do it in ways ranging from mystery to unvarnished truth.
* They can physicalize in images a character’s deepest fears.
* They can show us a character’s secret desires and needs.
In other words, they are a visual way of tapping into a character’s subconscious self, exposition relying on images rather than dialogue, entertaining as well as revelatory due to their kinetic, even chaotic nature. When used well, dreams are a valuable asset in a filmmaker’s arsenal of storytelling tools.
For the Dreamscience site, go here.