Some good one mentioned. The key thing about dream sequences is that some of them are really good, but few of them really replicate the dream experience, in my humble opinion. The one in Wild Strawberries is great, and nothing gets closer to dream feeling, in my opinion, than Meshes of the Afternoon. But Kagemusha’s dream sequence is a great cinematic achievement even if it doesn’t feel very dream-like to me. In fact, Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams is a well made movie (or series of shorts, if you will), but they’re too literal for my tastes in terms of getting into dream feeling. Best technical dream sequences, not so great dreamy dream sequences.
Just some thoughts.
The “maggot” birth in Cronenberg’s The Fly.
Eyes Wide Shut
The ones in “Cría Cuervos” are especially potent because they are mixed so seamlessly – quite spookily, really – with reality.
I’d also mention the horrifying ones in Bergman’s “Hour of the Wolf” and the very bittersweet, quietly idyllic scattered dreams through Tarkovsky’s “Ivan’s Childhood.”
Good call, MATT PARKS. All of it. Likewise, so much of Kubrick. And with that in mind, building off POLARISB: “…few of them really replicate the dream experience,” I feel like the scene in which “Gomer Pyle” kills the Drill Sergent in FULL METAL JACKET most accurately replicates my the sensation from many of my nightmare experiences, with Joker looking on in place of the dreamer (so many individual things in that movie that stand out as incredible emotional achievements while the film as a whole does not for me). Kubrick so often successfully replicated the very regular human experience of portalling between levels of consciousness.
And also, though also not technically a dream sequence, can we get a holler for the witches’ prophecy in Polanski’s MACBETH, another great example of portalling (through the mirrors towards a position of enlightened information, even if Macbeth doesn’t use said info well).
But?….why? First time this has happened to me….
But since I’m here again, I would like to second DISCREET CHARM and THE FLY as well. DISCREET CHARM for accurately nailing the absolute randomness of dream-logic within a dream-narrative better than other films. THE FLY for just being memorable and very upsetting while on a scriptwriting level providing a smart and efficient transition between scenes.
Cameron does an even better job along the sames lines with the very similar dream sequence at the beginning of ALIENS which has to, off the top of my head:
-provide a transition between the film’s intro and its proper beginning, eliding unnecessary passage of depicted days or weeks in between
-introduce the alien creature and its chestbursting habit to unfamiliar audiences who didn’t ALIEN
-express Ripley’s suffocating horror at having been in hypersleep for an ungodly 40 years
-introduce the conflicted allegory of the lethal horrors of motherhood as parasitic relationship
…all in a nifty, highly visual gross-out set-piece. Neat. Economical. Smart.
Does the first half of “Mulholland Drive” count?
One dream sequence that disturbed the hell out of me recently was not in a film, but was on the TV series “Damages” in which a lawyer has a nightmare about his teeth falling out. This is one of my recurring nightmares and it was the first time I had ever seen it expressed by anyone else. I was really freaked out by the familiarity of it.
The Wizard of Oz. Whole damn movie’s a dream!
Fiddler on The Roof
The Big Lebowski, complete with Saddam handing out bowling shoes, and Busby Berkeley like dance sequence.
The Wizard Of Oz, the entire film.
None….I hate all dream sequences
Jon Laballe, looks like we can never be friends.
Funny, when I saw the thread title I thought I’d add EYES WIDE SHUT as a joke. So Matt, which part of EYES WIDE SHUT was a dream? There’s that little fantasy blue-lit stuff showing Bill’s idea of Alice sexing up the Naval Officer, but that’s about it.
The dream sequences of ERASERHEAD are really alarming, especially the one where Henry joins the Lady In The Radiator onstage. And the big dream sequence in the 6th season of THE SOPRANOS was really something.
I hate dream sequences that are excuses for directors to play around with trippy devices without actually owning up to the effect that they have on the plot (i.e., the majority of horror film dream sequences, which I absolutely DESPISE). Nothing makes me more upset than the Sudden Waking with a GASP! moment after it seems like the movie is making a very interesting turn. Nothing.
Surreality and dream sequences aren’t necessarily the same thing for me. Dreams are surreal, but surreality isn’t dreamness, despite intentions. Gomer Pyle’s death was definitely surreal and shocking, but it wasn’t dream-like to me. It had that uncanny, but it was too aware. Dreams, in my opinion, are weirder because of how accepting of them you are in your dream.
What about Brazil, that had a direct effect on the plot.
The shared dream in The Manchurian Candidate is pretty freaky
Woman in the Window – Fritz Lang (the whole story is a dream)
Strange Circus- Sion Sono (caution: one of very few films I had trouble watching due to subject matter combined with extreme violence.)
@ROSCOE: I’d call the whole of EYES WIDE SHUT dreamlike, but come to think of it, the specific dream sequence of Kidman canoodling with the navy officer is one of my favorites too, lampooning the jealousy Cruise’s character feels.
“So Matt, which part of EYES WIDE SHUT was a dream?”
A better question is what part is not a dream.
Frank Capra’s The Bitter Tea of General Yen has a crazy dream sequence that Coppola stole from to use in Dracula.
Most if not all of The Saragoosa Manuscript by Has—try that for a dream that will not end!
I know it’s been said before, but Kagemusha. The very stylized setting of the dream is just amazing, and along with the camera movements it is hands down my favorite dream sequence.
Tarsem Singh’s The Cell
Since I was reminded of this film recently, I’ll go all commercial and say Prince of Darkness. heh
Fight Club, because I need to have a dream sequence after I watch two-hours of a film then, everything I ever thought I learned in those two hours aren’t real.
Matt, which parts of EYES WIDE SHUT are a dream? Come on, share.
The short La rivière du hibou (1962), based on Bierce’s “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” is (like The Wizard of Oz) all dream. (It was broadcast in ’64 as an episode of The Twilight Zone)