Dreams (夢, Yume, aka Akira Kurosawa's Dreams) is a 1990 Japanese-American magical realist film of eight vignettes written and directed by Akira Kurosawa. It was inspired by actual dreams that Kurosawa claimed to have had repeatedly. It was his first film in 45 years on which he was the sole author of the screenplay. It was made five years after Ran, with assistance from George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, and funded by Warner Bros. The film was screened out of competition at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival, and to this day has received positive reviews.
The main themes the movie addresses are: childhood, spirituality, art, death, universal disasters and man's mistakes regarding the world; all the segments of the film show a literal and a metaphorical side.
Sunshine Through The Rain
The Peach Orchard
Mount Fuji in Red
The Weeping Demon
Village of the Watermills
- Akira Terao as I (The Dreamer)
- Mitsunori Isaki as I (The Young Dreamer)
- Mitsuko Baisho as The Dreamer's Mother
- Martin Scorsese as Vincent van Gogh
- Chishū Ryū as Old Man
- Mieko Harada as The Snow Spirit
- Yoshitaka Zushi as Private Noguchi
- Toshie Negishi as Woman with Child
- Hisashi Igawa as Man at the Nuclear Power Plant
- Chosuke Ikariya as The Demon
- Noriko Honma
The film received mixed to positive reviews, while on Rotten Tomatoes earning an approval rating of 64% from 25 reviews, and an approval of 86% from audiences. Vincent Canby writing for The New York Times gave the film an above average review stating: "It's something altogether new for Kurosawa, a collection of short, sometimes fragmentary films that are less like dreams than fairy tales of past, present and future. The magical and mysterious are mixed with the practical, funny and polemical." The Encyclopedia of International Film states: "At 80, Kurosawa [...] is impatient with artifice; He has long been a master of complex narrative. Now he wants to tell what he does. There are no wild juxtapositions of the creatures of his sleeping world with the images of his waking world. They are, after all, products of the same sensibility. The rhythms of his editing and his staging are serene - hypnotically so. To be able to do so, we need to know what is going on. And this is one of the most lucid dreamworks ever placed on film." Donald Richie and Joan Mellen, in an article said: "Beyond himself, he is beautiful because the beauty is in the attitude of the director. This is evident not only in the didactic approach, but also in the whole slowness, in the quantity of respect and in the enormous, insolent security of the work. That a director in 1990 could be so strong, so serious, so moral and so hopeful, is already beautiful."
Dreams was released on DVD by Warner Home Video on two occasions: one on March 18, 2003, and the other on August 30, 2011 as part of the Warner Archive Collection.
The Criterion Collection released special editions of the film on Blu-Ray and DVD on November 15, 2016 in the US. Both editions feature a new 4K restoration, headed by Lee Kline, technical director of The Criterion Collection, and supervised by one of the film's cinematographers, Shoji Ueda.
- Dreams (1990 film) at AllMovie
- Dreams (1990 film) at Box Office Mojo
- Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams: Quiet Devastation an essay by Bilge Ebiri at the Criterion Collection
- Dreams (1990 film) on Wikipedia
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