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Chris Doyle on film as dream

By ACMI, 2010 2:05 minutes

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The cinematographer Christopher Doyle points to Paranoid Park (Gus Van Sant, 2008) to highlight the role of the camera in communicating emotion. He takes the idea of light changing through space and time to suggest that film creates the emotional effect of dreams and memories by taking us ‘out of time’.

Collection Screen Worlds


Discussion Points

Doyle describes time as another type of vocabulary that has been underused in the making of film. In explaining how the bath scene in Paranoid Park was filmed, he provides an insight into some of the ways in which the character’s emotional fragility was communicated.

  • What were some of these techniques?
  • How do they relate to the idea of ‘time’ as a filmmaking vocabulary?

The idea of film as dream has a long history. In fact, the first cinemas were described as ‘dream palaces’ and designed accordingly.

  •     What are some of the aspects of film that make it dreamlike?