The dreams of great directors

Arzamas learned that dreamed of Bergman, Chaplin, Stanislavsky and other prominent figures of theater and cinema.
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Edward Gordon Craig

“The dreams I dreamed not only enjoyable… Sometimes, when I was six, I woke up in the middle of the night from a bad dream: I dreamt I am in a car, by some miracle, get out, look at her, and then pulls me back inside I scream, but I have something picks up, twists, crushes and no hope for salvation. Then I woke up and, frightened, began to cry. Anyone entering my bedroom once, I remember, it was my mother and comforted me; but I’m waking up continued to cry from fright. Now I find it hard to say what exactly scared me, but I felt in the dream, an unreasonable and irresistible terror of something rotating that is supposed to crush me…”

Charlie Chaplin

“Together with us on a tour of the West went one handsome young Texan. We were in the same program. He worked on the trapeze and could not decide whether to continue this activity or to become a prize boxer. Every morning I put on Boxing gloves and we trained him. But, despite the fact that he was taller and heavier than me, I beat him like you did. We became good friends and after the battle went together to Breakfast. He told me that his parents were simple farmers of Texas and enthusiastically described life on the farm. We soon started to discuss a new project: to leave the theater and work together to breed pigs. Along the way, we looked in a car window and if saw a pig farm, came in a frenzy of delight. We ate, slept and dreamt of pigs. If I bought a book about the scientific breeding of pigs, I could leave the theater to become a farmer and raise pigs, but this book was very clearly shown their method of castration, which greatly cooled my ardor, and I soon forgot all about the swine.”

Konstantin Stanislavsky

“My desire is to be with You and to talk so much that I even saw You today in a dream, attended some rehearsals and was wandering through the corridors in search of the “French library”. Indeed, infinitely annoying that I failed with You to become better acquainted and closer to stand next to the bed… and Maybe we are also meant to work together?”

Ingmar Bergman

“I have repeated time and time again, the dreams. One of the most common sleep professional: I am in the Studio, to shoot some scene. There are all the other actors, cameramen, technicians, electricians, extras. Somehow I had forgotten the text and had to continuously look in his directorial notebook, but the record is unclear. Then, returning to the actors, I decide to bluff, saying something about breaks. Do pause here and turn around and face the camera, then say the cue, wait, speak softly.

The artist looks at me incredulously but obediently executes the instruction. I look at it through the lens of the camera, I see half of the face and staring at me. It can’t be — I turn to Sven Nyquist, who’s leaning over the viewfinder sets the focus and let the camera. During this time the actor has disappeared, someone said that he had a smoke.

You need to decide how to do it. Because of my poor workmanship, lots of actors and extras huddled up in a corner, clinging to the light walls with a glaring pattern. I understand that it would be extremely difficult to make a lighting, see politely-angry face Sven — he hates direct overhead light and double shadow.

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Ordered to remove the wall. This will give us freedom and the ability to approach the scene from the other side. One of the workers, looking to the side, notice that to move the wall, of course, possible, but it will take two hours, as this wall is double, attached to a solid external brick wall will start to carry it, could collapse plaster. I spewed muffled curses, experiencing a painful feeling, to connect the inner and outer walls was my idea.

Order to move the camera to the door and look through the viewfinder. Extras obstruct actor. To get into the frame, it is necessary to turn to the right. Assistant Director delicately notes that in the previous take he was moving to the left.

In the Studio is complete silence. Still waiting, patiently and dutifully. I’m desperate you see in the viewfinder. Visible half of his face and stared at me. Flashed the thought that will turn out an extraordinary frame, which will be a delight to write criticism in all countries, but immediately discarded it as unfair.

Suddenly find the solution: shooting motion. Around actors, past extras, travel. Tarkovsky constantly moving in every scene — the camera floats and flies. Actually, from my point of view, no good technique, but it solves my problem. Time goes on.

Heart pounding, I gasp. Shooting motion is impossible, says Sven Nyquist. What is Sven doing stuff so damn peculiar? Well, of course, afraid of complicated camera movements, older, became a coward. Look at him with hopeless longing, he sad pointing at something behind my back. Turn around — there is no scenery, only the wall of the Studio. He’s right, shooting motion is impossible.

Out of desperation resolved to appeal to all audience. Tell them that you work in a movie for forty years, made forty-five films that are looking for new ways, strive to update your figurative language, it is necessary constantly to question there. To emphasize that I am a person with lots of experience, know their business and the problem — nothing. If I wanted to, I could pull, to remove the General plan from above, diagonally, that would be a superb decision. Of course, I do not believe in God, but the situation is not so simple, each of us carries within himself a God, everything has it’s a pattern we sometimes see, especially in the hour of death. That’s what I want to say it, but it’s useless. They already went into the dark of the Studio, huddled in a tight circle, standing and arguing. I do not hear the words, see only their backs.

Flying in a huge plane, I was the only passenger. The plane off the runway, but cannot gain altitude and roar sweeps over the city’s avenues on the upper floors. I look in the window, where, moving, gesticulating people; the leader, ominous sky. I rely on the art of the pilot and yet aware that the end is near.

And now I soar alone, without the plane, waving in a special way by the hands and easy to take off, wonder why never tried to fly, it’s so easy. At the same time understand that it is a rare gift that not all can fly. And some of those who have to exhaustion strain gnarled hands and neck, I’m free like a bird.

Flying over flat terrain, obviously the steppe, it’s probably Russia. Soar above the majestic river, where there is a tall bridge. Under the bridge into the river is thrown the brick building, pipe swirls the smoke, heard the rattle of machinery. It is a factory.

The river bends into a giant Luke. The shores are covered with forest, the panorama is boundless. The sun disappeared in the clouds, but all imbued with sharp, not cast shadows with light. Through the wide channel of rushing greenish, clear water over stones in the depths now and then flashed the shadows, a huge glittering fish. I am calm and full of confidence.

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In his youth, when sleep was strong, I was tormented by hideous nightmares: murder, torture, suffocation, incest, destruction, crazy angry. In old age, dreams are far from reality, but good, often comforting.

Sometimes I dream of a brilliant play with a huge number of participants, music, colorful decorations. And I whisper to myself with deep satisfaction: this is my statement, that I created”.

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