Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I'm Assuming There Are No Wooden Puppets In Inception

All this talk about Inception and the way dreams are portrayed or used as plot devices in movies reminds me of the most dream-like movie I've ever seen, Jan Svankmajer's Faust.  It's not about dreams, and there are no "dream sequences", but it feels the way a dream feels.  The logic, the rhythm, the repetitions of certain actions, all seem more akin to a dream than to a mainstream movie, as if Svankmajer replaced conventional film grammar with dream grammar.  There's something about the way stairs are used in Faust that is key to its convincing dream-ness, but I don't think I could explain that without seeing it again, if even then.  Thinking about how images, scenes and, most of all, the feeling of the thing have persisted in my mind, coming to the surface with surprising frequency, it's hard for me to believe that I've seen it only once, in or around 1998.  I like the form it has, the place it inhabits, in my memory, and I'm a little afraid of the way a second viewing might alter that.

As a side note, another thing I remember about that screening (here comes some name-dropping) is that Jeff Mangum and a bunch of the Elephant 6/Orange Twin gang were there.  They all showed up together in a van.  Which, now that I'm typing it, kind of sounds like a dream I would've had.  But that, kids (here comes some nostalgia), was Athens, Georgia in the late '90s.

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