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: Dream Theory IMDB  ( 70993 )
cigar joe
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« #105 : November 09, 2021, 09:46:03 AM »

So what did you discover this time? Saying you discovered new things doesn?t inspire conversation; why not actually discuss what you discovered?  :)


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« #106 : November 09, 2021, 09:46:28 AM »

He discovered that the dream theory got it wrong: the dream is when they're children. Everything else is real.


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« #107 : November 09, 2021, 09:47:02 AM »

I hadn't seen the movie in several years, probably my longest break from having watched it countlessly through high school and college. I think the last time I watched it was the release of the extended cut in 2014, right when I graduated. I'd always considered the 60s dream theory but mostly dismissed it. But now I'm pretty much decided that it's a fantasy. It feels so much like a sad old man imagining what could have been. And although n_l was joking, it's also much clearer to me how much of the childhood and early adulthood scenes are made up of Noodles looking back on his gangster fantasy. Unlike the 1960s scenes, these events feel real. But they also feel highly elevated and romanticized by a man who likes to think he's James Cagney (i.e. Harry Grey). The tough-guy teenager, the rosy hazy nostalgic 1920s memories, women fawning left and right over this group of awful misfits, an overly extravagant dinner date that feels ripped out of The Great Gatsby. Only seldom does Leone's gaze break free of its fairy-tail fantasy - culminating with the rape of Deborah - but to Noodles, he's still remembering his life as if it were a gangster movie. He's the ultimate unreliable narrator - it makes me wonder what these events were really like.

But despite all the implied fantasies and embellishments, it's still an overwhelmingly personal movie. Friendship, perceived love, perceived memories, the barreling pace of time passing by. It's impossible not to strongly relate to these characters, despite them being some of the most vial people ever put to screen. Not in a "fun" way like Goodfellas or The Godfather either (not that these movies glorify the gangster life, but the characters are still decidedly better, more likable people than those in OUATIA). I think this movie deals better with the passage of time and memory better than those that address it more directly, like The Tree of Life or Boyhood.

I guess I'd always viewed OUATIA much more literally than it really is. It's a haunting fairytale as remembered (and sometimes imagined) by a sad, pathetic man. Reading The Hoods somewhere along the way makes this all the much clearer - it's probably the worst book I've ever read, but its existence contextualizes the movie in a whole different way. One of the most interesting book-to-screen adaptations ever.

The best part is, I may entirely disagree with all these sentiments when I watch it again in a couple more years. That's really what makes it the best movie ever made.


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« #108 : November 09, 2021, 09:47:31 AM »

I think that really IS what he's saying. But then, since you two are the same person, you should know.


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« #109 : November 09, 2021, 09:47:48 AM »

OUATIA - The childhood scenes aren't dreams, they're romanticized nostalgic memories. The prohibition stuff is real and the 60's scenes are the closest to a dream theory. I just wish the soundtrack didn't have the version of "Yesterday". I'm in the camp that the 60's scenes are an opium influenced glimpse into the future.


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« #110 : November 09, 2021, 09:48:04 AM »

That's what I'm getting at, though admittedly too wordy and over-exaggerative. I would argue they are highly romanticized memories. This is taking the book into account and Harry Grey's "experiences", which when reading, are so obviously fantasies.


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« #111 : November 09, 2021, 09:48:21 AM »

It's a bit more complex than that. First of all, the whole movie feels dreamy. But we also know what this movie is: it's the cinematic adaptation of a book writen by a liar who tries to show what true gangster life is, and he does that by replicating Hollywood clich?s on the page. Leone saw that and that's what drove him to do the movie: the relationship between the tales we say and reality. Knowing that both influence each other. And that the way we experience life has a lot to do with how we interact with these tales. Needless to say, the whole story takes place in the country of one of the biggest lies ever: the American dream. The movie is very self aware and constantly navigates these muddy waters. Now of course, the 3 main time periods of the movie aren't treated the same. But they're all in muddy waters.


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« #112 : November 09, 2021, 05:20:46 PM »

Quote: "I just wish the soundtrack didn't have the version of Yesterday".

Unless one feels that the entire movie was Noodles thinking of the past and not a dream.....thinking of "yesterday"/yesteryear....

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