Sunday, April 29, 2007
The Emptiness of Dreaming
Last night I got an email asking if I could propose another 20-minute presentation for the IASD conference in Sonoma because someone had dropped out, and I realized pretty quickly I wanted to do this:
The Emptiness of Dreaming: Transcendental Fantasy in Three Films
The use of the dream plot or dream sequence in cinema in the manner of a Zen koan, to subvert the prevailing assumptions of realism, arouses intense anxiety even as it induces an experience that transcends rational understanding, as exemplified in three films: Luis Bunuel’s The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972), Richard Linklater’s Waking Life (2001), and the British anthology film Dead of Night (1945).
Images from Discreet Charm, Dead of Night, and Waking Life. Below them is the Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi, who said he awoke from a dream in which he was a butterfly and asked, "Am I Zhuangzi dreaming of being a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming of being Zhuangzi?"