Censor of Dreams

A short film of 17 minutes that includes elements like a character named Yoko, dreams, memories – do we really control them?, and plans gone awry. Directors Leo Berne (has co-directed music videos by Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Madonna, Kid Cudi, and Rihanna) and Raphael Rodriguez, who also both wrote the screenplay, tinker with our ideas about what we remember of our dreams and are we actually in control of them or what we remember of them? Intriguing and ambitious attempt, especially for rather inexperienced filmmakers. But they come through with flying colours.

The two men have used, as source material/inspiration, the book Yume mo ken’estokan or The Censor of Dreams in English writter by Yasutaka Tsutsui. Due to the cool idea and their excellent execution of it, the short has been shortlisted for a 2022 Oscar nomination in the Live Action Short Film category.

For years each night a team led by the Censor (Damien Bonnard) shape Yoko’s (Yoko Higashi – Cotton Candy, The Occult Sources) dreams into something incredible. They also direct the memories she has in regards to her dreams. This night things do not go as they typically have. The Censor and his team are in a panic as a result.

Those who watch the film and are familiar with Sigmund Freud’s theory on dream censorship. How dreams or our subconscious hides or keeps from our consciousness things which would be too disturbing to the person. Freud theoriezed that their is a kind of censor which alters all the awful things as we just don’t want to think about them. An interesting idea.

Instead of conveying this via dialogue, the directors have attempted to translate this concept in a largely visual way. In many ways this is the right decision as it makes the story all that more impactful. Almost like language would be superfluous in this instance. It also forces us, the viewer, to really pay attention. Recognize and identify all the cues which are been fed to us visually. You have to be locked in here. As a result every single person watching Censor of Dreams might come away with something a little different in regards to the film’s message.

A fun dark comedy.

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