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?"

1 comment:

maitresse said...

made my way here via dennis cooper's blog-- a day too late, I can't believe I missed "Surrealism Night"! next april 30th I'll be totally phasing that in. I was just thinking today what a surreal feeling is in the air every april 30-may 1, especially since I moved to france and it's a holiday. the warm weather has been with us for a little while now, just long enough for us to be used to it and to feel as if it had always been warm and winter were a strange dream.