WRITTEN ORIGINALLY FOR AND PUBLISHED AT PASSIONFORCINEMA.COM
If you look back at cinema from its inception, one of the most workable justifications for playing out something totally outrageous and uncanny was to just make the protagonist DREAM. In the case of Indian Cinema, due to the lack of breath taking vista’s in the vicinity of the slums that our protagonist lives, and due to the inability of our maker’s to dream the least, the scenario plays out very well to justify dancing in the woods of Europe and we are left with staring at the botany showcase of the region’s flora. But to make a point – DREAM’s actually give the writers some of the most exciting prospects to put their creativity to best use and come-up with something that totally knock’s the wind out of the viewer.
I was recently listening to Charlie Kauffman on National Public Radio (like All India Radio), who happens to be in my top three scriptwriter’s that I have read (the other’s being Aaron Sorkin & Woody Allen – in that order) where he takes on the subject of dreams and justifies/attributes it some of the most incredible idea’s of his over the past decade of his work. In Adaptation – the concept of writing a writer who is trying to write a script about a writer trying to write – so simple yet so tremendously difficult, Charlie says, is a product of his dreams. How otherwise would you think up of stuff? Ok, you go to bed with some half formed thoughts but deep in sub-conscious state, the churnings of the brain take those half-baked idea’s and take then through a ride – a ride that you so often wish you can capture, but you just can’t. Well, if your Charlie Kauffman maybe!
One example I would like to give here – How many of you regular PFC author’s or to that matter cine-buff’s who after catching a late show the night before – wake up with a start the next day morning with some concrete idea on how to say what you feel on that white screen in front of you? You know what you are going to say because your sub-conscious mind has digested the cinema and it all becomes so clear to you as to what it all meant but try putting it down on a piece of paper and you hit a dead wall!
Going back to Charlie, another example is Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Mind that he so brilliantly wrote. The basic premise there again is to successfully get rid of Clementine’s (Kate Winslet) thought’s, Joel (Jim Carrey – wasn’t he SUPERB!) has to erase everything belonging to her physically from his surroundings so that the deep-subconscious does not get triggered due to it’s association – again – the physician’s explained there was that dreams could still trigger deep emotional feelings that the normal conscious would not.
So, what’s the deal with dreams? Why are they so vivid at times, yet so bizarre that on some days you just think about how could such a thing be? My friend tells me she has recurring dreams of her floating in the air like that shot from “The Big Lebowlski” where when he get’s knocked out, he just floats in the sunshine. The fact still remains that some of the most creative ideas that you would probably have had in one’s life have had their metamorphosis in one’s dreams as total abstractions that initially make one question the very plausibility of such incidents – but in the end, it makes, so much sense! Or at least for me it does.
As someone who has been struggling for the past 6 month’s to complete my first story, there are day’s when I just fall asleep on the ride back from work where a part that I am struck unravels in front of my eyes, with such congruence to what I am thinking that it seems so right but when I try to interpret them, they just don’t make no sense. It’s like a constant battle between Angels and Demon’s in my head where the Angels rule the world of sleep and the demon’s, possibly influenced by everything materialistic, just overpower the Angles to rule what I write. Is it due to my incapability to draw what my brain could come-up with, or should these just be inner personal thoughts – like inner entertainment for those 6-8hrs of sleep.
An argument that could be made here is story-telling is nothing but a much emancipated form of putting words to fantasies that one has to enchant the audience. Yes, great fantasies are amazing stories and I for one digg anything that is supremely fantasized but from Comic Books to absolute goblin thrillers, there is a certain baseline to imagination – they are made believable, like the way Roy Walker (Lee Pace) tells Alexandria (Catinca Untaru) the story of the 5 hero’s in “The Fall” to extract his own revenge on the Star who steals his Girl. Brilliant Visuals and absolute classic interweaving of time-period’s, but at some level believable. But take Donnie Darko, the man with the bunny costume, the jet engine crashing, the prophecy – that’s interpretation of dreams very well told.
I am sure most of you who are reading this have had numerous dreams that just defied every societal demon in your head. Extreme danger, wild rides, grossly exaggerated behavior of one’s self – these are just a few scenarios’ in the whole web of imaginative trip that your mind takes you every time you close your eyes, which just leaves with this one belief that every individual only needs to posses the power to interpret one’s dreams – if one chooses to become a creative fiction writer – as only a sleeping mind can take you to places that waking life would just not comprehend.