Digital Dreams: Bringing Psychoanalytic Stereotypes into Multiplatform Worlds

Dreams and sleeping have always been an important part of movies’ narrative which helps to develop the formal structure of a film. Dreams as a part of a film’s plot allow to refine on parallel editing, construct imaginary worlds, find new and intricate ways of visualizing psychology of characters etc.

From rather direct Freudian interpretation of dreams in cinema (for example, pure, yet sophisticated iteration of it is in Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece Spellbound (1945) with Salvador Dali’s visual design of the main character’s dream), scriptwriters and directors turned to more complex and elaborated narrative constructions, demonstrated, among others, in Christopher Nolan’s Memento (2000) and Inception (2010). The role of dreams in the evolution of the horror movie genre in 1980-1990 is also worth mentioning. The topic of insomnia has appeared to show the deconstruction of the dream’s narrative in cinema and blur the discourse boundaries between a dream and phantasm and nightmare.

In my talk, I am going to focus on contemporary films which use the topic of dreams as the main narrative element. My research question is how technological specificity of digital cinema and the multiplatform mode of the last decade’s media consumption transformed the discourses of dreams in contemporary films.