Many people have been inspired by their own dreams and the thought of dreams. Artist and poet, William Blake for instance he highly valued dreams. William Butler Yeats, who won the Nobel Prize for liteature once told Dublin producers that Cathleen ni Houlihan, had come to him in a dream. It’s said that Mary Shelley’s idea for her novel, Frankenstein came from a nightmare she had as was for Robert Louis Stevenson who also said that he got his idea for, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde from nightmares too. So dreams are inspiring for many people and helped create some of the world’s greatest works.
The Spanish film director, Jose Luis Borau felt that cinema was able to expand our dreams, so it’s no wonder that film directors use their dreams and the idea of dreaming as their movie plots. Some movies that play heavily on dreams are Nolan’s “Inception,” Hitchcock’s “Spellbound,” Gilliam’s “Brazil,” and a slasher favorite, Wes Craven’s “Nightmare on Elm Street.” So that’s just a small example about how dreams and cinema intercept each other.
This list looks at directors who use their owns dreams as a helpful tool in their cinema, like Bergman used fragments of his dreams and Italian director, Federico Fellini even wrote a book about dreams! So take a look at the list and see which other dreaming classic directors made the list!
Source: ‘Our Dreaming Mind” Robert L. Van De Castle
“The Trial,” a film that starred Anthony Perkins, was was directed by Orson Welles. Welles reported saying that it was his dreams that helped him decide on how the architecture was going to be in the film. It makes quite sense because, “The Trial” which was written by Franz Kafka is a nightmarish book and film, so it’s only fitting that Welles would use his dreams to create his vision of what the book would look like on film.
For those who have never seen the movie, it is currently on Netflix and for those who have never read the book you can borrow it from your local library or buy it here, The Trial, it’s something to be really be read and seen. It takes you a nightmarish ride through paranoia and the court system.
Spanish director, Carlos Saura once was asked if his dreams and films were connected and he said that fragments and images from them were used to create his cinema. It’s interesting that someone can remember from their dreams and create masterpieces with those remembered fragments. Carlos Saura directed such films as, “Carmen,” “Blood Wedding,” and “Dark Night.”
So it was his dreams that helped him create some of his most famous works. It’s interesting to see how dreams can change and help someone’s art. Saura was also inspired by director, Luis Bunel who was another one that was inspired by dreams and surrealism. Carlos Saura even directed a movie about Bunel which was called, “Bunuel and the table of King Solomon.” He is said to considered that movie one of his best works. So that’s just how his dreams inspired his works!
Robert Altman for his hit film, “3 Women” that starred Shelley Duvall, Janice Rule, and Sissy Spacek was said to based on one of his dreams that he had. Shelly Duvall won for Best Actress at the 1977 Cannes Film Festival and Sissy Spacek won the Best Supporting Actress award from the New York Film Critics Circle.
There is doubt that Federico Fellini used the dreaming experience for his movies. One movie that comes to mind his 8 1/2. Fellini was even so obsessed with dreams that he wrote a book called, “Federico Fellini The Book of Dreams.” He was known for keeping a dream journal even.
Fellini, when he was younger had named the four corners of his bed after movie theaters and he said when he would fall asleep that’s when the show would start. So one can say that his idea and interest in dreams has helped his cinema immensely as being creative and ingenious.
Famed Swedish director, Ingmar Bergman would reproduced episodes of his dreams as accurately as he could in his films like “Sawdust and Tinsel” and “Wild Strawberries,” for instance. Bergman even directed a movie called, “Dreams.” He directed many films for that matter.
For those who are interested in a more depth look at how dreams affected Ingmar Bergman will be interested to read this interview from the Guardian, “Bergman talks of his dreams and demons in rare interview.”