Reviews of Dreams
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Overheard, during a recent triple digit heat index , two perspiring locals comparing their tolerance of extreme temperatures on both ends of the thermometer, and I was reminded of a blustery video vignette titled The Blizzard. The Blizzard is one of eight visually stunning representations of personal dreams spun together as a single narrative film called Dreams (Yume), by noted Japanese director Akira Kurosawa.
All eight dreamlike stories in the film are metaphoric, with elements of Japanese folklore, and move so slowly that the viewer is practically forced to appreciate the artistic composition. In particular, The Blizzard is guaranteed to surpass your hard-working air-conditioner, leaving you apt to step out for some warmth. The story starts with a group of mountain climbers trying to find their way back to camp during a blinding snow storm. As they succumb to the cold and begin to collapse, the leader of the exhausted group encounters a snow woman . I won’t give away the ending, but this story, along with the other seven, are visual and auditory masterpieces individually, and collectively.
After making his final word on the samurai genre with RAN, Kurosawa devoted himself to making smaller art-house fare, mostly with mixed results, and DREAMS seems to embody the spirit of the twilight of his career. DREAMS is an anthology movie comprised of Kurosawa’s own interpretations of his dreams, although one must wonder if the Ishiro Honda-directed segment “Mt. Fuji in Red” comes from Kurosawa or Honda, since the fear of nuclear power seems like something more in line with what Honda would make, although Kurosawa has been known to deal with nuclear themes in movies like I LIVE IN FEAR and RHAPSODY IN AUGUST. The segments range from interesting to dull, some of them are visually striking, others have their hearts in the right place but don’t seem to amount to much. Many segments, such as the one with Scorsese as Vincent Van Gogh, are pleasing to the eyes, but have nothing to say. Others, on the contrary, spend a great deal of time saying things, but leave you with nothing to think about, as their statements are straightforward and one-dimensional. DREAMS is a film that is pretty to look at and it has images that will stay with you, but there isn’t anything behind it to make it the fulfilling experience it should be.
- Currently 2.0/5 Stars.