Novak (novak) wrote,

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Personal: A Note on an Epic Movie of a Dream

I had almost forgotten to note one of the most interesting things to happen to me when I was down at my sister's over the extended weekend, helping to watch my nieces. When I woke up on Saturday morning, I was waking from one of the most – or arguably the most – amazing dream I have ever experienced. At first, I thought that I had simply replayed a movie in my head, but when I stopped to think about it, I couldn't for the life of me recall ever seeing such a movie. (A vague impression of Kevin Kline in a significant role could be attributed to my having stayed up late to re-watch Lawrence Kasdan's masterful Grand Canyon the night before.) I had enough material, in a sense, for a full novel or a screenplay – more the latter, as I really saw or dreamt this as a movie – but as I sketched it out in my mind, what I could recollect of it made for a number of seemingly-disconnected units or vignettes, which I would probably have to work on in order to reconcile. This was no surprise in retrospect, as we are all familiar with the odd segues of dreams. But there was an over-arching narrative, a science-fiction one, set in England, and having to do with a group or even civilization of what we might call "near-Earth aliens," intelligent creatures different or unknown to us, save perhaps in legend, but who have actually been sharing our world with us while we were unaware. In this aspect, the story recalled something of The Abyss to me, while its mood seemed more in the spooky thriller of the sort M. Night Shyamalan has given us in Signs or The Sixth Sense.

I'm reluctant to give out any more details, on the odd chance that I might actually get up the gumption to do anything with it someday. My few stabs at fiction of any length remain unfinished messes: the mere notes of the screenplay Six Feet to Paradise that I started dreaming up around my second senior year of undergraduate, and the half-written screenplay for Short of the Glory that I was writing with/for Brett Boessen at Notre Dame, but for which I could never quite come up with an ending that satisfied me narratively and theologically. Oi. I've not thought of that in ages: a quick "Spotlight" scan of my computer shows me three copies of the beast, from the memory of three different computers, and which was last opened at 5:16pm on February 28th, 1997.

Anyway, it's so rare for me to have a dream of such great length and detail: honestly, I cannot recall having had one like that in years, if ever at such length. I was in a state of strangely-mixed excitement and loss when I went downstairs and told Mom about it over breakfast Saturday morning. It was a long while before I could shake off the desperate and almost-always-futile desire to go back to sleep so as to try to re-enter the dream. (I think that that's only worked for me once.)
Tags: dreams, movies/film/tv, notre dame, personal, writing

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