Friday, October 7, 2011

Dreaming in Wartime 1943 - 1946 • "32 Days of Movies" Day 7


The seventh chapter in "32 Days of Movies", an audiovisual tour through 366 films.
(2015 update: included Vimeo embed after the jump)

Dreaming in Wartime

Today's chapter tells a definite story - we begin with a man in the air, determined to crash-land his bomber. It gets closer to the ground, closer, closer, and then... And then the strangeness begins, dreams and nightmares. A witch crashing into a burning pile of rubble. A lucid but depressive atheist wandering amidst crowd of candle-carrying Catholics. A cool, cool jazz band lounging in some never-never minimalist studio in the sky. See you on the sunny side of the street...

And the dreamers. Oh the dreamers - they're all over the place. Sleeping on the eve of a battle, watched over unbeknowst by their king. Chasing mirror-faced daemons in the cracked sunlight of a chillingly cloudless afternoon. Napping in the houses of murder victims and waking up to wonder if they're still dreaming. Climbing from beach to boardroom, or lying in a groggy state on dirt roads to be awakened by flashlights.


There are lovers too, out in Parisian streets on the rainy night, looking for a place to stay or chasing love letters down the boulevard. Some lovers are dreamers as well, peering out the train's window and fantasizing about a life in far-off locales.

Then, finally, we're back on that airplane, or a junk heap that could've been that airplane once upon a time. Now it's a wreck: broken glass, cluttered cockpit - and a man crouched in place, the greatest dreamer of all, with the most disturbing, and most real, dream. And suddenly, with the piercing common sense of a person from Porlock, a voice calls out and the dream is over.

Yesterday there were several clips dealing explicitly with Hitler, World War II, and the gravity of the world situation. They told us why we went to war. Yet somehow I feel these dreamers, these dreams, may tell us more about what it's like to be alive during a war.

This is probably my favorite chapter I've created so far. I like the clips, the transitions, the overall flow. I hope you enjoy it too.

There is a spoiler at 2:50 - 3:22. It appears after the title, so you can start watching the clip and then decide if you want to continue or jump ahead.

I have covered one of today's films here.


Yesterday: Storm Clouds Gather

2 comments:

Shubhajit said...

I've watched just two of the movies covered in this collage - Laura (the movie's theme of a guy falling becoming obsessed with a dead girl's photo was, well, disturbing to say the least) & Murder, My Sweet (a gem of a noir with as top-notch portrayal of the terrific character of Marlowe). As you can guess, both rank among my favourite film noirs.

Again, interestingly, I've watched 3 of the movies covered in your last video - Great Dictator (a very good movie, but not among my favourite Chaplin films though), Maltese Falcon (would most probably rank among my top 5 film noirs, though I haven't made such a noir list yet), and Citizen Kane (which I liked, but perhaps not as most of the rest of the world).

By the way, you're video editing skils are really good. They're really very well made. Keep up the awesome work!

Joel Bocko said...

Thanks, Shubhajit, your compliment mean quite a lot to me. I only just saw Murder My Sweet - what a stylish noir! It was a blind buy as part of that big noir collection.

I'm not sure I followed every twist in the plot - I'm usually pretty bad with that, takes me a couple viewings to catch up with all the double-crosses and fake-outs (or in the case of understanding the plot of The Big Sleep, I throw in the towel but then I'm in good company with that as the famous anecdote shows). But what a visual trip - I especially dug the hallucinatory interrogations.

One thing that's too bad in regard to this chapter is that I own Spellbound on VHS rather than DVD (though in a way it's that movie I was thinking of when I started to shape the WWII chapter around dream sequences). The Dali dream would have fit in perfectly here alongside the Derens and the early noirs, both chronologically and stylistically.