Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Lathe of Heaven (movie)

I first saw this movie when I was five or six years old. The main things I remembered from it were dreams altering reality & aliens that looked kinda like turtles hiding on the moon. & I was sure it was black & white (but I think I watched on a black & white television). The movie freaked me out & it’s one of the many things I watched as a kid that I don’t really understand why I watched it & that went on to kind of effect my interests for the rest of my life.

So it was hard to figure out what this movie was to re-see it. First off everyone says, “Oh, Dreamscape” when you say a movie about an early 1980s movie about a guy having crazy dreams that effect reality. Second off, it wasn’t actually in black & white. Anyway, I actually managed to find it by Googling “alien turtle moon movie” which is pretty crazy as a description. I guess Google is getting to know me better. Re-seeing this movie is interesting to me. It has that vibe from before sci-fi movies became a genre of action movies, definitely a Philip K Dick vibe even though it’s actually by Ursula K Le Guin. One of the things I find really interesting about this movie for me is it may well be the root of my complete dis-trust for psychiatrists as the psychiatrist in this is pretty corrupt & manipulates his patient. The basic premise is there’s a guy who has dreams that can alter reality & it opens with him undoing a nuclear war after which he starts taking drugs to suppress his ability to dream. After a near fatality from the drugs he is forced by the state to go to a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist figures out he can manipulate the dreams & tries to use them to make the world a better place, but usually it ends up making things worse – the solution to over-population for example is a plague.

This movie really works for me. Which is odd. The production value & acting quality isn’t too far removed from Logan’s Run or an episode of Twilight Zone. Maybe that’s what I like about it. It isn’t driven by fancy special effects or action or good acting or good cinematography – it’s just an interesting story told in an interesting way. It’s simple & dull & soothing. It’s not for everyone & that’s fine because I do think it’s for me.


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