Saturday, April 07, 2007

I have a dream...

This dream sees the end to rubbish dream sequences.
They're tricky. And too often botched beyond any reason. It's nigh-on impossible to try and portray a dream on film, and the only times it's been done well is when the filmmakers don't try really hard to portray a dream on film.
I'm not against dream sequences in general - The Big Lebowski and Buffy feature some hum-dingers - but the majority just seem like an excuse for the director to really exercise their artistic talents. Visual metaphors! Strange dialogue! People looking all serious and stuff! Restricting creative filmmaking to dreams makes its appearance all the more rubbish.
For example, Summer of Sam - a very, very good film with a lot of style and convincing character portrayal. The film's serial killer, Son of Sam, is featured in several creepy Se7en-style scenes that are disturbing and doom-laden. All of this is almost completely ruined, however, when in one scene a dog walks up to the killer and says 'Kill. Kill! Kill them all!'.
The effect is laughable, unsubtle and annoying.
On the other hand, look at someone like David Lynch: in many of his films, there is generally always something vaguely dreamlike or disturbing about every one of his shots. So, we don't need to be told that a character is dreaming and have a load of obtuse cues to try and convey information about the film; he makes his films that way anyway.
But the worst crime against dream sequences is the one that's most committed; characters learning vital plot information in a dream. WHY?! This is lazy writing and it is inexplicable but constantly gotten away with because 'oh, it was done so cool like'.
Dreams are not places that tell you about the location of the bomb or the villain's weakness - they're places for implausibly attractive people and tiny men with fruit for heads.
You try writing down information from dreams. Try it, and I promise you that the only thing you will learn is

In other news, Meet The Robinsons is being screened with the 1938 Mickey Mouse short Boat Builders - this is very good news, as Meet The Robinsons is another bog-standard CGI film so it's good that children get to see where animation came from, when the fact that films didn't make sense was the point.
As for Meet The Robinsons itself, it's unnecessarily complicated and quite boring. But it does have a T-Rex fighting a Giant Squid, which is nice, because despite what John Patterson says most films would be improved with the presence of Dinosaurs.

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