Saturday, 17 January 2015

The Dreaming Charm of the Bourgeoisie

If you want something done properly, dream it yourself.

I only just caught Luis Buñuel's The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie before it expired from MUBI and what follows is not a review or an analysis of the film; rather, this is a short description of how my brain continued the narrative of the film when I fell asleep after I had watched it.

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie - trailer.

As the film itself relies very strong on dream-logic (or illogic) and has each character waking up from a bad dream that happens to be the part of the film we have just witnessed, the fact that I continued the film's narrative in my own mind lead to an overly hyper-textual film experience. 

I watched the film on my iPad in bed.

It was very easy for me to dream about the film, as I had watched it on my iPad Mini in bed straight after waking up. However, as I found myself starting to doze off ten minutes before the end of the film, I paused the film, set my alarm for 25 minutes and had a quick power nap. 

An analytical look at The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie.

During this power nap I did briefly dream; I can not recall what transpired, but I am sure that the film's content played into that dream-state's free-flowing narrative somehow. 

Ultimately, I awoke when my alarm went off, watched the remaining 10 minutes of the film...

365 FRAMES 2015: Day 015... when I awoke I watched the film...


The content of this next dream-state was vast and I can not recall all of it, except two segments...


Overcrowded with dancing, screaming inmates and the white of flower floating in the air (Carl Dreyer's Vampyr).  All around the walls were laid out row-upon-row of lockers and one, when opened, had a pull out tray on which lay a dead body.

Carl Dreyer's Vampyr

In the centre of the room was a table on which rested the character's from The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie and all at once they awoke and sat bolt upright from their combined dream - a dream that had been the events of The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie - just as they had dreamed within the film. 

They awoke to the white flowered chaos and noise swirling all around them and found themselves to be inmates of an insane asylum (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari).

"...and from that day on, the madman never again left his cell."

In my mind this is how The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie really ends.


Of course there was also an epilogue, as presented in the second recallable sequence from my dream-state and I was a player in this one, as was an aged Herbert Lom playing the director of The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie. 


Lom is standing on the main stairwell and a few steps down is positioned the other cameraman; he is holding onto his celluloid camera as it has a ridiculously long lens that is causing his camera to teeter on the steps. 

Pete is at the bottom of the steps in front of the main doors with his camera pointing at the glass windows of the main doors. 

Outside facing the main doors and Pete's camera is an army Jeep; in the front two seats of which sit blow-up dolls of Hitler and Goebbels.

Only Fools and Horses

Pete is looking back up the stairs at the other camera, it's operator and Lom.

(Internal dialogue)
Is he filming me shooting them?

Herbert Lom
This is the final shot of the film.

Pete turns and focuses through his bulky camera. He sees the inflatable dolls of Hitler and Goebbels begin to inflate even more so causing them to stand up in the Jeep.

Herbert Lom - the Director.

Herbert Lom 
Don't drop the shot - ACTION!

The other cameraman loses it! His bulky camera and overly long lens trundle off and down the stairs. The lens of the other camera lands straight into Pete's back. Pete and is camera smash through the main doors. Pete's bulky camera continues down the main outdoor steps without him and crashes through the Jeep's windscreen. Hitler and Goebbels sag.

The Pink Panther and Chief Inspector Dreyfus

The sound of deflating air bags can be heard as Lom chases Pete and the other camera across the boulevard away from the set. 


365 FRAMES 2015: Day 016... the following day.

Overall... well, I did say...

If you want something done properly, dream it yourself.

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