Monday, May 14, 2007

the nocturnal science

Dreams seem to be figuring prominently in my surroundings lately. It's like when you start thinking about rutabagas, say, and the next thing you know, everywhere you turn, they are talking about rutabagas - rutabaga recipes in the paper, rutabaga being touted as the hot new colour for spring, and rutabaga futures being the primary cause of pushing the Dow-Jones industrial average through the roof.

On her blog, Deb shared some strange dreams she had lately, which seem triggered by her mom's recent passing.

On the weekend, we watched The Science of Sleep, which falls solidly into the "Charming LIttle Film" category that we have been favouring lately. It's the tale of a young man who has trouble differentiating his dream life from his waking life, and it is as richly chaotic and absurd as a dream generally is.

Gael Garcia Bernal is quite endearing as the befuddled and geeky man-child, Stephane. The set alternates between the ordinary feel of an normal (if somewhat bizarre) day and the surreal lushness of dreamland. The dream segments, which are increasingly difficult to separate from the waking moments, are often the setting for Stephane TV - a tv studio constructed entirely of cardboard boxes, where Stephane is the host of his own life.

The film is laden with fantastic objects - plastic-wrap streams, oversized stuffed telephones, cardboard getaway vehicles which are involved in chases with cardboard police cars. The dialogue moves seamlessly back and forth between English and French and sometimes Spanish, which might drive some people crazy, but which I enjoyed.

It all sounds rather confusing,and I supposed it is somewhat, in the manner that dreams are confused melanges of our daily experiences and the mundane things we are fretting over and the songs that are stuck in our heads and the emotions that are haunting us. But ultimately, The Science of Sleep is a lovely little film.
I had a weird dream the other night. Fear not, I'll make this brief:

I was in my old high school, taking a course of some kind, when suddenly the members of Radiohead walked into the classroom, played a song and immediately left, all without saying a word. We were so stunned that we didn't react until after they were gone from the classroom, at which point we broke into cheers, but of course they had already left.

And then I was walking down the deserted high school hallway when I ran into Thom Yorke. If other people had been around, I'm sure I wouldn't have approached him, but he was alone so I said to him Thom I'm really sorry we didn't applaud you when you played for our class, but we were all so gobsmacked and overwhelmed that we couldn't even react. And he gave me a big bear hug and started to weep softly while babbling mostly incoherent words. He said that he was so glad to hear me say that, that those words meant so much to him because he was quitting music and that was to be his last ever concert.

But that's not the weird part.

Then I dreamt that I woke up and told someone about this dream and she started text-messaging all her friends, telling them about it. And then it just shattered into stupidity, as my dreams often do.

This is the first time I ever recall experiencing the phenomenon of false-awakening. It is apparently fairy common, but then again so is the sensation of flying whilst dreaming, and I have never flown in my dreams either. I do fall off cliffs occasionally, and when I try to run I have giant rubber bands around my legs, which makes running a tremendous and futile effort.

I have experienced lucid dreaming a few times as well, and that's quite freaky, but oddly empowering.

What is your dream-life like?

Do you ever have false-awakening or lucid dreams?

Do you ever fly in your dreams?

Do you ever read words on a page in your dreams, as I sometimes do?


This zombie is shuffling in late yet again, but proud to announce this week's winner of the Labia Award is:


for the poignant and heartfelt

Amen brother.


phlegmfatale said...

YAY! I be first!

Yes, I have those false awakenings, and it's all so confusing. I generally have madcap, convoluted dreams that are generally so wonderful. I rarely have bad dreams.

And about the rutabaga thingie - it's like when you're driving along and you hear a certain word and at that very instant your eye picks out that same word on a billboard, street sign, etc. There's a name for this phenomenon, but I don't know what it is. I wish someone would tell me so I could use that word all the time and sound fancy.

Allison said...

For some reason I read your description of the Thom part in the hallway in as if it were being relayed in a gossip circle, and even though you didn't type them, I added in 'and then' and 'omg.' Perhaps I should sleep. That is an interesting dream though.

My dreams have been rather eventful as of late. So much so that I'm often protecting myself with an army of pillows. I would say that about 75% of my dreams, maybe more, are false-awakenings, and very lucid. I often had dreams where I'm falling, and then wake up, which is suppose to be a sign of stress release. Just this past weekend I had a dream with words.

Dale said...

I've had false awakenings in dreams in the past but none recently Barbara. I'm glad you liked The Science of Sleep. I was a little disappointed when it didn't seem to go anywhere (like most of my dreams...awwww).

Another labia?! You flatterererer! I humbly accept but feel you're really giving it to Meryn. So to speak.

Toccata said...

I'm still trying to figure out what colour a rutabaga is exactly. Your dreams are way more exciting than mine. Although if Radiohead showed up my dream I would consider it a nightmare.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I love dreaming too, Phlegmfatale. Sometimes my dreams can be a little mundane, but mostly I really look forward to them. It's like watching tv all night long.
I don't know what that simultaneous hearing and seeing phenomenon is called, but if you find out, do let me know so's I can be a smarty too.

haha Al, I just reread that part and yeah it totally needs a few "and thens" and "omgs". I still feel badly for Thom, crying like that.
Wow, you do have an amazing dream life! You have that many false awakenings and lucid dreams? That's kinda freaky. Do you wake up kicking and flailing from those falling dreams? I suspect you do, hence the pillow barrier.

I guess The Science of Sleep was pretty open-ended, Dale, but don't you think that is fitting for a film about dreams? Because my dreams never wrap up neatly.
You and Meryn both deserve that Labia, so to speak, although that does get very confusing.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Oooo look at that, Toccata, simultaneous commenting! Hmm, good question on the rutabaga colour - umm, purply yellow?
Do you mean you wouldn't give Thom a hug if he started crying? Even if he promised not to sing for you?

Anonymous said...

As for dreaming - all of the above.

John Mutford said...

Finally people who've heard of this movie. We watched it a month or two ago and no one else seems to have heard of it! I enjoyed it, though Debbie fell asleep (is that irony?).

3. Do I fly in my sleep? Not often, but when I do, it's a recurring dream for about a week. When I was a kid I used to have them all the time but I could never get more than a foot above the ground, everytime I tried I'd just end up standing.

4. It's funny you mention the reading part. I usually fall asleep reading and then dream the ending to the book. When I try to read it again the next day, I'm slightly confused. Wait a sec, didn't Baby turn plaid? I seem to recall her turning plaid.

And while we're on the subject, I don't often have typical nightmares. Usually, I wake up terrified because I've been dreaming of a red light or something.

Karen said...

You had me up until the word "Radiohead" ;-) I've never heard of the Science of Sleep but loved Gael in Motorcycle Diaries. Sounds very interesting, I'll have to check it out.

JustRun said...

I seem to have trouble differentiating between dreams and reality myself, at times. Then again, this isn't necessarily sleep dreams, just dreams I create deliberately.

I just know rutabagas are going to be everywhere now...

Dale said...

I have nightmares about unseen forces trying to get me, I used to fly a lot in my dreams with very arm turning spasticity and yes, perhaps you're right Barbara, maybe it shouldn't have gotten all wrapped up. I think that Gondry's last film set me up to be wowed big time so I was only wowed medium like.

On another note, have you seen Hot Fuzz yet? I started to watch last night and it's a scream. I'll finish it off tonight.

weatherchazer said...

My dreams are disturbing...because they come true.

Evelyne said...

This film sounds good, switching between French and English might be confusing but also really interesting, I'll try to find this movie. And my dreams are often a mix of French and English (but now they are starting to be a lot more ion French). I've heard that you become comfortable with a language once you start dreaming in this language but it is so confusing when you wake up. "It was French or English?" and then you dream about English speaking people and they speak French.

I don't remember flying in a dream, but i don't remember my dreams very well.

Do you ever read words on a page in your dreams, as I sometimes do? Yes I do, and it is really confusing!

Deb said...

Poor Thom. :(

Next time you see him, give him a big hug from me too.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You must lead a rich and full sleeping life, Leazwell.

Oh boy, does Debbie know irony, John. I'd now like to see a few other Gondry films, plus some more of Bernal's films.
You mean you missed the part in the book where Baby turned plaid? - you need to read more carefully, that was central to the plot.
I'd like to fly just once. Maybe I need to eat chicken wings before bed.
You have the nightmares of a man who is unplagued by traffic gridlock. Curse you!

I have still to see the Motorcycle Diaries, Karen, but it's way high on my list. Now if only you'd stop showing me clips for films I absolutely must see, I might have a chance to get caught up.

Look out, Justrun! Behind you - it's a rutabaga!
Ah yes, I get sucked into those daydreams that you believe are true, as well. Far too often to admit, actually.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

So you actually have your wings a-flapping when you dream of flying, Dale? Cool.
I've only seen Eternal Sunshine - was that Gondry's last film? It was quite a bit darker than Science of Sleep.
Hey! How did you get a copy of Hot Fuzz? I have yet to see it, but want to SO BADLY. Also Run Fatboy Run, which Karen had a clip of, which also stars Simon Pegg and looks brilliant.

That is disturbing, Weatherchazer! Mine never do, none of them.

Reading in your sleep IS confusing, isn't it, Evelyne? I find that I struggle to make sense of what I am reading, which is often nonsense.
I think you would enjoy Science of Sleep, even if only for the language aspect of it. You would probably catch a few jokes that I missed.

I certainly will, Deb. You gotta love a man who can cry in front of strangers - I can't even do that.

Dale said...

I could tell you Barbara but then I'd have to tell you.

Yes, Eternal Sunshine was a film I just fell in love with so I wanted desperately to love Science of Sleep perhaps just a little too much for it to be satisfying.

mellowlee said...

I've had false awakenings many times. Some of them get downright weird. Once I woke up to turn off my alarm clock, but before I could reach it, it burst into flames. What was my first clue that I was still dreaming eh? heee. That movie Science of Sleep sounds like my kinda movie! I loved your Radiohead dream :O)
When I was little I used to dream that I could fly away from the "bad guys" who were chasing me, but only just out of their arms reach, and no further. UG

BeckEye said...

I have those false awakenings a lot. It's like a bad sitcom and/or horror movie.

I often have very mundane dreams that are so mundane that I'm convinced that the events actually happened. I think I may have told you this already. Or was that all a dream?

Johnny Yen said...

I used to fly in dreams all the time!

Recently I had a dream in which two of the bloggers I read regularly, Mob and Todd, from "Death Wore a Feathered Mullett" and I went into the Exit, a punk club here in Chicago. The weird thing is that I haven't the foggiest notion of what they look like.

I have the false awakenings frequently. I also find myself back in high school in a lot of my dreams.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

It's more than a little disappointing when the followup efforts don't live up to our hopes, Dale, but I guess it isn't easy upping the ante all the time.
That's why in my personal life, I don't even try - and nobody gets disappointed.

Whoa! Flaming alarm clocks! That's a hell of a way to jump-start your morning, Mel. I'm beginning to believe that I am the only person who has never flown in sleep - I must have a particularly lame imaginaton.

A horror movie was what I thought of right away, Beckeye. Both for the false awakening and for the Thom Yorke quitting music part.
I get quite annoyed when I waste a whole night having mundane dreams, don't you? I mean, I can do that while I'm awake.

Another nocturnal flyer!
I've dreamt of meeting people whose faces I've never seen as well, Johnny. It makes me wonder how are minds decide to attach that particular face to that particular person.

justacoolcat said...

I only know the nocturnal science of emission.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Is that as dirty as it sounds, Just A?

668 aka neighbour of the beast said...

i think everyone is having a very active dream life lately. the blogs are all agog with it.

i know my dream life has been very active.

justacoolcat said...

Only if I don't change the sheets.