Dreamed 1975/5/17 by Stan Brakhage
The three-quarter view of a startlingly dark-sky-blue colored rabbit with bright scarlet eyes and red veined ears.. . all suspended in colorless air.
I had been reading "Watership Down" by Richard Adams before going to sleep--the chapter about the Black Rabbit of Inle; but then I had also been paying much attention to Myrrena's rabbit Ruby, yesterday. Ruby is a white rabbit with eyes that prompted her name and such brilliant blood veins in her ears as to cause me to think of them as "red trees in those hollows"; thus the dream has provided a 'sky' for those "trees" toned 'her' all over the color of late evening sky.
As I awoke with a sense of weight and nagging tension to my breath, a close kin to that quality of fret which preceeds asthma, whether I'm allergic to Ruby and if, perhaps, this is a dream-waming; but then the comforting quality-of-tone of the dream rabbit prompts me to think of it as some cosmic echo, or answer, to that symbol of Death which Adams' Black Rabbit of Inle represents.
No!...it is some powerful sign--a compound of a much longer unremembered dream--and embodies, or emblems, a complexity of means beyond conscious memory or possible merit; and, as such, it haunts my day more than the narrative discontinuities of the average dream I'm enabled to write about... suggesting to me, that those dreams which leave no residue to conscious thought may be the most powerful life-shapers of experience.
These brief amalgamatic signs of unremembered dreams, as I sense them, further suggest a new possibility for film-making-or a path-of-creativity related to, say, "The World Shadow"...akin to painting, but premised upon such subtleties-of-movement as I am unable to explicate with language: the twitches of fur of the blue rabbit, the sway of red veins which relate them to trees, the solidity-of-eye, the partial turn of the whole rabbit figure in space with shift-of-foot after that turn... none-of-which was even mentioned in my writing of the dream because the real quality or meaning of those moves is beyond my descriptive abilities... or even, possibly, beyond description.
I must attend, more carefully, these slight--or perhaps slighted--moves. I must stop using the term "sign" and all such emblematic recognition as might limit my attention to move-meaning.
Further, is there a way to make a film which is utterly unmemorable?
SOURCE: Dreamworks: an Interdisciplinary Quarterly (v.1, no.1, spring 1980, p.49-50)
To me, this short charming dream and long abstract rant feel like a rabbit trapped under a weighted net of art-school talk. Focus on the rabbit's moves? Poor old rabbit's pinned!
Sure, utterly unremembered dreams might be the most powerful dreams of all, shaping our lives. But if you forgot them, there's no way to test this, so it's not even a theory, just idle speculation. And that final question? Yes, there IS a way to make a film, or any story, utterly unmemorable. Just bog it down in theory like this.
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