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DREAM MACHINE

by
in Filmmaking
on May 4, 2006


Over at sf360.org, Tilda Swinton delivers a San Francisco International Film Festival keynote address on “the State of Cinema” in the form of a response to her eight-year-old son who asks “what people’s dreams were like before cinema was invented.” Swinton offers up a wonderful free-ranging dialogue that encompasses everything from the Communist party, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Tropical Malady, Crash, and, especially, Derek Jarman.

A tiny excerpt:

My boy, what do you know of changed times, you who were born in 1997 and asked if there were cars before then or only horses and carts. For whom predigital will come to mean prehistoric. For my generation on, even the aliens, I’ll tell the audience in America it is hard to grasp that it is in fact scrupulously constructed fantasy that we have, each and every one of us on this planet, European, Asian, Sikh, Finn, Masai, Maori, male, female, neither, both, asked, at least once in our lives, a girl to the school prom, standing in the American high school corridor flanked by metal locker doors, that we have each and every one of us negotiated cheerleaders and their jock boyfriends, skirted a baseball diamond with a school jersey round our waist. That we have endured Thanksgiving dinners year in, year out, shut a front door with our ass while carrying a big square paper bag full of Oreos and milk cartons, shouting “Honey, I’m home!” This is a sort of reality for us all, wherever the tentacles of intergalactic — Marshall Plan‚Äìlike — distribution reach. The same kind of reality that governs the idea that Hershey’s chocolate tastes of chocolate and not black wax.

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