Akira Kurosawa's DREAMS consists of eight short films based on actual dreams of the director. The first sequence, "Sunshine Through the Rain," features a young boy sneaking off into the forest on a rainy day to watch a procession of enchanted foxes. In "The Peach Orchard," a slightly older boy witnesses tree spirits performing a delicate dance. Weary travelers in "The Blizzard" face the elemental wrath of a snow enchantress, while "The Tunnel" finds a military officer haunted by the ghosts of his dead regiment. In "Crows," an art aficionado literally walks into the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh (played by Martin Scorsese). "Mount Fuji in Red" and "The Weeping Demon" are both fantastical cautionary tales about the hazards of nuclear power. Finally the gentle "Village of the Watermills" brings the film to a quiet, pastoral end.
A highly personal project, DREAMS evinces its labor-of-love atmosphere in every sequence. As with all Kurosawa productions, each short film is meticulously designed and beautifully photographed. While many of the middle sequences are eerie and surreal, the first two films and the finale ("Sunshine Through the Rain," "The Peach Orchard," and "Village of the Watermills") are gorgeously lush and serene.
Eight of director Akira Kurosawa's cinematic renderings of dreams are on display within this large film, dealing with such concerns as the futility of war, the perils of nuclear power, and humankind's need to harmonize with nature, in styles that vary
from peaceful and pastoral to abstract and surreal. Martin Scorsese appears in
one sequence as painter Vincent Van Gogh.
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