View Full Version : Do your dreams follow Hollywood conventions?

Mota Boy
02-28-2008, 01:07 AM
I often don't remember my dreams, but lately I've been waking up pre-sunrise and drifting back into microsleeps, so the blank screen in my head has been rather busy as of late. Did you know that the Chinese shoot off fireworks recreationally? It's still the new year holidays, I guess, and fireworks go off at all hours of the night. I'm not just talking little pops, and whiz-bangs, I'm talking massive fucking explosions that set off car alarms down the block. The type that make their way up to my apartment and into my subconcious. I'm on a beach, everything's fine and dandy, and suddenly the world explodes and monkeys are everywhere, fighting the Russians. But I digress.

Anyway, now that I've been getting a fairly consistent series of magical midnight adventures, I've been reminded of a few patterns that keep popping up that amuse me: my dreams employ Hollywood conventions. It really shows the level at which I'm influenced by the movies that my dreams follow them. Example: I had a brief Heroes-related dream. I saw about four minutes of it on (Chinese) TV a few days ago, and I guess it was enough to work its way in there. The main bad guy, Syler (Cyler? - I've only seen a couple episodes) flew by the window in a Cadillac, holding a top hat covered in blue neon lights (I have no fucking clue). I didn't want to say anything because I knew he wasn't coming for me but for the other guy in the room, who was simultaneously this hard-partying Indian-American engineer I knew in college (as an aside - this guy and his roommates removed the carpeting from the living room in his on-campus apartment and installed a bar and hardwood dance floor) and that Japanese guy who could bend the space-time continuum.

Tension was mounting. Suddenly, there was a bump at the door, some magnets on it de-magnitized. Oh shit, it was the evil dude! I prepared for death... but it was only some previously-unknown third roommate, and we all shared a little laugh. Even within the dream I appreciated it for what it was - the false scare from so many a horror film, as hackneyed as anything off of a straight-to-DVD monster movie or slasher flick.

This wasn't the only time - I also had another horror movie twist (from what I can piece together, my dreams shift about every minute or two in genre, though I can find it difficult to mentally resolve the "chase" scene) that I'd seen a hundred times before. There was something to do with vampires (but then it became zombies?). There was, like, one in the next room that we were going to have to confront, and somehow a screw mounted on a wall had, like stabbed it before. Part of me was already thinking ahead of how we were going to deal the thing, working through plans on how to resolve the building tension when someone stuck their hand out and pricked their finger with the screw tip. As everyone knows, once an inanimate object has flecks of vampire/zombie/werewolf blood on it, anyone stabbed by it will also come down with vampirism/zombiism/werewolfism. I turned to the person and exclaimed "Why the fuck did you just do that?!" to which they replied "Eh, I'm just getting it over with." Sure enough, part of me was shocked, but part of me, upon seeing the screw, knew that, according to the genre's convention, it would have to "infect" someone - just by virtue of existing (the "infectious agent" is never introduced only to continue lying dormant). Fortunately, my subconcious volunteered someone else.

So this was a long way of asking: Is it just me, or do other people have cinematic dreams, complete with conventions, allusions and parodies?

02-28-2008, 09:43 AM
My dreams are like watching a six-hour version of Un Chien Andalou every night. I've never understood how other people's dreams could follow a linear 3-act structure. Every time I get comfortable with a scene, it switches abruptly to something else. Like last night I dreamed that one of my Myspace friends was telling me about how he was assaulted and had his ass beaten by this Mexican dude (demonstrating what he did by performing the same actions on me - I hate that shit), before he realized that he was a martial arts master and started to fight back. Then I was in this museum where my favorite painting had been stolen. Then in a hotel where my dad was abandoning his family in extreme midlife crisis mode, yelling all this wild shit. On and on like that.

02-28-2008, 10:11 AM
Last night I was a character in a 2-dimensional Dragon Ball game. I've never played this game, although it looked pretty awesome.

My dreams always seem to have a story, and I meet people and such and find out more about how their characters develop and occasionally even get a conclusion before the dreams end. The other night I played Watson to a Sean Connery-esque Sherlock Holmes, and successfully disarmed a small bomb.

02-28-2008, 12:10 PM
Never. Like Break's, they're all over the place, and usually not in very exciting places - generally a hybrid of everywhere I know or have previously dreamt about. My dreams only form a coherent story in that wonderful time in between sleep and waking up, when I can almost control them.

The most Hollywood-esque ones would be the sort most people have as kids: the house is burning down, and nobody will listen, and you wake up just before you die.
Well, I presume lots of people have dreamt that, but I don't know why - who else has?

02-28-2008, 08:09 PM
Oh god I wish they did, I wish I had that subtle feeling that everything was going to work out okay in the end for the protagonist (me), instead my dreams are kind of filled with that gut-wrenching real life consequences feeling.

I forget whether I've shared this or not so bear with me. The antidepressants I'm on because I'm an anxious idiot most of the time until I discovered that they make drugs for that problem and I was sure as shit going to take them, have one side effect that's quite well known- they make you dream HEAPS. Every morning when I wake up, without fail, I've been dreaming. I'm becoming convinced that the constant feeling of never being quite fully awake is due to a lot of time spent in REM sleep and my brain never just shuts up and goes into a deep sleep. I stopped being excited about my dreams and never bother to mull over them because they're just always there.

Some of these dreams are kind of neat, but I find a lot of them compress this anxiety that I've missed out on during the day and leave them for my subconcious to play with at 4am. Hence I have some crazy dreams, with the surreal dream landscape where nothing is quite as it should be, with these anxious feelings of things like "crap, I can't find my workplace and I'm late" while I'm running around because the place is filling up with water because it's flooding which turns out to be just some weird side effect and totally not related to the actual dreamplot which seemingly changes at about 10 minute dreamtime intervals. I love a good dream but I just want to have a nice deep sleep.

02-28-2008, 08:55 PM
Ugh, Nicole, I totally follow you. I have a huge amount of natural anxiety, although it's coupled with the fact that I refuse to take medication for it, it makes getting to sleep extremely difficult when I think about what it would be like to have a panic attack at THAT EXACT MOMENT. It's one of those feelings you can't explain, waking up at 5AM and just thinking about how comfortable you are, and then "what if the feeling of completely freaking out just snuck up on me right now?" DUN DUH DUN DUH DUN DUH DUNDUHDUNDUHDUNDUHDUNDUH JAWSJAWSJAWS.

My medication of chioce is being drunk.

02-29-2008, 07:39 PM
i can kind of relate. life's stressful right now (but who's isn't, haha) so when i actually make myself stop thinking and manage to fall asleep, i barely ever remember my dreams. but like some of you said that you wake up early (5am-ish) and fall back asleep, that's when i tend to dream the most, which is weird because i heard it takes you a half an hour to actually sleep deep enough to dream, and i usually get up early for school. anyways, most of my dreams have people from my recent past that the relationship with them was strange or something. either that or a huge fucked up compilation of things i've heard the previous day...like anything from a commercial i thought was funny, or something someone said, things like that. but the closest i've got to a hollywood like dream was that i've had some celebrities in them, but not for very long. my dreams always flip around too.

03-01-2008, 09:51 PM
My dreams usually have a semi-coherent story to them, since I like to write stories. Back before my hard drive wiped itself, I had this novella going about zombie dogs and stuff like that. After writing a little (a little=4 hours) before bed, I went to sleep and dreampt about my main character being eaten by a giant pig for some reason. They blamed it on the zombie dogs but they weren't even in the dream.

Most of the time I dream about school. I'm a freshman in high school, and the stress of an AP English class is finally crashing down on me. It's no help that the teacher is a control freak, so I often dream that she's coming to my house to control my personal life as well.

Lately I've been dreaming that I'm an amazing guitar player. My mind can't seem to accept the fact that I suck at guitar.