Dreams on Film: The Cinematic Struggle Between Art and Science

Dreams on Film: The Cinematic Struggle Between Art and Science




Films with dream sequences, or a dreamlike quality, allow directors to create their own rules of logic and nature to meet a variety of artistic needs. For instance, an opening dream immediately establishes what a character is feeling; a later dream—or series of them—provides viewers with a glimpse of the climax, and a concluding dream ties up loose ends. (In real life, of course, dreams do not occur at such convenient times or serve such useful purposes.)
This book explores why science is lost or distorted in the process of representing dreams on film and why audiences prefer this figurative truth of art over the literal truth of science. Part One discusses changes in form and considers the history of dream theory. Additionally, the physiology of sleeping and dreaming, dream structure, sleep deprivation, dreams under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and waking up, as depicted on film, are examined.
Part Two investigates changes in content, and delves into the psychology of sleeping and dreaming, dream interpretation, altered states of consciousness, visions and prophecies, dreams as wish fulfillment, sex and death, nightmares, and reality versus illusion. The author uses theories by Freud, Jung, and current experts in her analyses of dream sequences and their use in film.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786415960
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 01/27/2003
Pages: 209
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.42(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Writer Leslie Halpern has worked as a columnist for Markee Magazine, film correspondent for The Orlando Sentinel film reviewer for So London Magazine, and stringer for The Hollywood Reporter. She lives in Oviedo, Florida.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v

Foreword by Robert Smither 1

Preface 3

Introduction: The Dream Sequence 5


1. History of Dream Theory 13

2. Physiology of Sleeping and Dreaming 21

3. Dream Structure 29

4. Sleep Deprivation 37

5. Dreams Under the Influence 46

6. Waking Up 54


7. Psychology of Sleeping and Dreaming 67

8. Dream Interpretation 73

9. Altered States of Consciousness 82

10. Visions and Prophesies 92

11. Dreams as Wish Fulfillment 103

12. Dream Themes: Sex and Death 114

13. Nightmares 126

14. Dream Elements 138

15. Dream Symbols 147

16. Reality vs. Illusion 161

Conclusion 178

Filmography 181

Notes 189

Bibliography 191

Index 195

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