VIDEO: My Child is Dreaming (2017)

My Child is Dreaming from Mr. Klesha animation on Vimeo. The director says, “When my daughter was born I bought my first diary. 
In the beginning I was just taking notes of her progress, reactions and likes.
 Then I began writing about my dreams as well.
 After two years, I’ve collected all the most beautiful bits to create a video. 
From such duality, a project called “My child is dreaming” was born. 
It is an introspective journey full of metaphors and paradoxes that put in contrast the idyllic and enchanted world of children with adults’ dreamlike visions, sometimes a bit pessimistic and obsessive.”

I really like this short film. The interesting imagery, the pastel pinky and somewhat Martian deserted landscape, and the jazzy unsettling music are intriguing. However, to me, the piece does not feel very oneiric. I am not questioning the artist’s creative license or talent. I’m just highlighting the fact that the art is more Surreal than properly oneiric, or so it feels to me.


I’m deeply intrigued by the way artists incorporate  dreams and dream images into their art. At the same time, I tend to resent artistic approaches and imagery that remind me of Salvador Dali’s and the Surrealists. Do not take me wrong. I love anything Dali and Surrealism. I also love how Surrealists turned dreams into something subversive and thought-provoking. They explored dreams, the subconscious and the subliminal in ways that were unique and the results were both intellectually thought-provoking and artistically brilliant. Yet, I find Surrealist-inspired dream imagery simplistic in a way because it reduces dreams to a bunch of odd symbols and eerie landscapes.


Most people who pay attention to their dreams would tell you that their dreams, even when they just recall snippets, are rich and deep. Most dream images and dreams are organic psychological ecosystems: multilayered, multicolored, emotionally charged and not always odd. In a way, I find the perpetuation of the Surrealist visual art style, albeit aesthetically pleasing, untrue to the dream. When when isolate a dream symbol, the dream and the symbol lose their power.

Have you ever had dreams that look like a Dali’s painting? I have not. Like the author of this short film, I’ve had dreams with powerful visual symbols, but they are never autonomous images. They are an organic part of the dream whole, connected to the oneiric spaces, characters, feelings/emotions and narrative of the piece.

VIDEO: The Dream Film by Javiera Estrada (2017)

THE DREAM FILM from Javiera Estrada on Vimeo. The Dream is a surreal short film about the subconscious world of dreams interpreted through dance and abstract imagery. It is an epic journey of the human spirit through the power of visual beauty, movement and the fierce influence of our minds.

There are many short films, animated or not, that depict the world of dreams, real or imagined they might be. But there aren’t many films that focus on the subject of dreams expressed throughout dance. In that regard, this video is unique. As a lover of dance, this video is wonderful per se. However, as dream analyst, I find it especially interesting the most oneiric parts of it, which are the beginning and the ending. I love the way the liminal state is presented as well as the use of underwater images to depict the subconscious.

This indie project is just beautiful. As I’ve said in other posts, I find the artistic depiction of dreams fascinating, especially when it is not based on people’s real dreams but on the concept of what dreams are.

Some of questions that came to mind when watching this film are:

  • Do dancers dream of their training, in the same way that I dream of some of the repetitive tasks I do for work?
  • Are their dreams more musical than those of the rest of us?
  • Does dance overpowers their dream world?
  • Does their psyche express their issues and inner life in a more kinetic way than the rest of us?
  • Are their dreams more artistic, if you wish?

if you are a dancer, drop a line and let me know about your dreamworld.

VIDEO: Tokyo Dreams (2013)

NICHOLAS BARKER | TOKYO DREAMS from Rogue Films on Vimeo. The director requests: 1. Wear earphones. 2. Turn your phone to Silent. 3. Do nothing else for 9 minutes. Tokyo Dreams is a journey behind closed eyelids. Tokyo Dreams is a short Zen-like film about sleeping commuters on the Tokyo subway. Shooting 12 hours a day for two weeks, UK director Nicholas Barker contemplates the stillness and vulnerability of his fellow passengers and wonders whether they will wake in time for their stop…


Sleeping is a very intimate act for most of us, so watching these people (some of them very serious-looking) placidly sleep or nap in front of me makes me feel relaxed, uneasy, and motherly, all at the same time. We are allowed to witness very intimate moments in unknown people’s lives. Moments in which a person is really fragile and vulnerable, present but also absent.


Even when I get to properly sleep on a medium-length or long trip, I rarely dream. In fact, the passengers captured in this video do not display signs of REM sleep. Are they daydreaming? Just relaxing? Aren’t they properly aslept but just resting?

I’ve seen people on a train, totally asleep, get up and wake up, as if someone had winded them up, at the stop preceding the one they had to get off. There is an interesting article explaining how the brain works out that. So, I wonder if that vigilant quality of the brain while commuting shuts off dreaming altogether, even hypnagogic or hypnopompic episodes. The truth is, I’ve rarely heard anyone tell me something like, “I had this amazing dream while I was commuting.” Dreaming while traveling is a subject that has not received much attention by anyone and, because of that, fascinates me.


If you are able to dream while commuting, please send me a message through the contact form telling me your experience and I will add it to your entry, credit given, of course.

VIDEO: Dreaming by Wei-Shen Wan (2017)

Dreaming from Wang, Wei-Shen on Vimeo. The author says, “This is my graduation project at Savannah College of Art and Design Spring 2017. The tangled pathway through one’s sleeping imagination can effortlessly tangle fondest memories and tortured nightmares.”

This short film is profound, but still approachable in explaining what dreams are, what they bring up for the dreamer, and which elements dreams use.The author says, “Dreams are the fulfillment of desires that only the dreamer can understand.” Such an apparently simple statements full of wisdom.

I really love the use blue hues to depict the night, as well as the use of bold bright colour There are surrealist elements and non-animated bits, all perfectly blended. Overall, the film perfectly captures what some dreams are.

The narrator has an interesting voice. One that one would expect in scientific documentaries. Yet, his voice inflections makes it intriguing and he’s able to convey the poetic mystery that every single dream is. Yet, I miss a bit of emotion. I think if the author himself had narrated it, the emotion would have been there.

A very artistic presentation of what dreams are.

VIDEO: The Rehabilitation of Sleep (2015)

The Rehabilitation of Sleep from Josh Shaffner on Vimeo.

I love this short film.  Its painterly quality, the mood, the imagery and the story really capture the sensations and nature of the process of being an insomniac and o dreaming.

I really like Shaffner’s mix of lights and colours to create different moods. The airiness, freshness and realism of the imagery for the awaken life, and the dark golden brown rich surrealism and complexity of the images of the dream. Shaffner hand-painted all of this film, and the resulting painting as well. This being a time-lapse animation, I was expecting some level of delayed motion, which is just natural for the genre. However, the film also has a natural flow and organicity to it and somewhat mimic the tempo that some dreams have. Bosch‘s Garden of Earthly Delights and some images by contemporary Polish surreal graphic artists immediately came to mind.

When I first watched this film I thought that Shaffner is a dreamer, too. I mean, this seems not to be  just an arty abstract project of his. Firstly, from a dreamer point of view, the clip perfectly captures how shapes, characters and surroundings morph in our dreams. I think it also captures that quality of just waking up, having a dream floating around, and you close your eyes to get back to it, and then you get bits and pieces of that dream, a dream that it is not totally complete formed in your memory. Shaffner is also precise at depicting the anxiety that we get when are insomniacs, and the noisy dreamworld that we get when we get to sleep once anxiety has cast its anchor in us.

I find the rendition of dreams in art, from a purely visual point of view, very tricky because artists tend to focus on the characters or the narrative elements od the dream not on the nature of the dreaming process, which I think Shaffner does remarkably well.

There is nudity and a sex scene in the film, so not for minors.

VIDEO: Grete Stern’s Dreams

Grete Stern’s Dreams from Nano Festival on Vimeo. The film just shows Greste Stern‘s very-rare book with photo-collages that go from 1948 till 1951, pre-Photoshop photography. The photos were based on real people’s dreams. To contextualize the work, please visit this article in The New Yorker. Y You can find an interesting article on her on ou can also get some information about the exhibition that the MOMA devoted to her and her husband Horacio Coppola in 2015 HERE. Her art still feels fresh and modern!

VIDEO: Oneiric Hotel by Julijonas Urbonas

This is another Julijonas Urbonas’s fascinating artistic project inspired by dream lab research. This artistic production was exhibited in Lisbon and Lithuania.  The original project website is no longer available. The author’s amazing art projects, many of them related to dreams, are available on his website.

Oneiric Hotel from Julijonas Urbonas on Vimeo. “Oneiric Hotel is a pop-up hotel equipped with special dream-directing equipment — an artistic reconstruction of the few successful psychophysiological sleep experiments that managed to induce and direct lucid dreams. Oneiric Hotel reenacted these experiments as bespoke experiences for the visitors, transposed from the scientific laboratory to the set of a pop-up hotel. Equipped with dream-inducing contraptions and techniques, the public was invited to take a nap in sleep capsules, entering into the dream experiments in their own way. The ‘scientific subjects’ became the designers of their own oneiric experiments.”


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