Dreams are a huge part of my life. I’m not talking aspirations here, but actual forgot-to-put-on-pants, or riding-Pegasus-through-the-clouds kinda dreams. At night, my mind conjures up the most enthralling technicolor epics, so vivid I sometimes wake up unsure if an event actually occurred or whether a person actually said that. Among my favorites, which my brain obligingly produces on a regular basis, are flying dreams that find me soaring over mountains and valleys, skimming across meadows and treetops, and floating down over lakes. The feeling of weightlessness if so real and somehow so familiar.
You’d think, then, that I would love Inception wouldn’t you? Sadly, while the movie was very entertaining (and really, it’s difficult to say bad things about a film with Ellen Page and Marion Cotillard), I felt that their dream sequences were lacking any kind of real imagination. Instead, I would refer you to the often overlooked and undervalued 2009 film, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.
As anything Terry Gilliam touches is wont to be, The Imaginarium is a darkly beautiful, intoxicatingly fanciful spectacular. With a cast list sporting the likes of Christopher Plummer, Tom Waits, Heath Ledger, Lily Cole and Johnny Depp, the stunning visuals are well matched by wonderful performances.
Although Heath Ledger’s tragic death mid-way through filming nearly derailed the project, Gilliam’s casting of Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell as Heath’s character in the dreamworld adds rather than detracts from the story. How often do you, or another person in your dreams, take on the guise of someone else?
I will refrain from giving anything away about the plot, in the hopes that you will experience The Imaginarium yourself, and instead leave you with a few more stills.
All images courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics.
What are your dreams like? Do you dream in color? Are you able to control the content of your dreams? Do you have favorites?