As we recently reported, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have brought the work of sci-fi scribes like Philip K. Dick to life with the invention of cutting-edge technology that allows scientists to peer through the keyhole at our internal visual landscape. They now have the ability to record our brain’s patterns by reconstructing the images our mind composes after exposure to visual stimuli (in this case, movie trailers). Eventually, researchers say they’ll be able to tune in to the secrets of our memories and dreams.
Filmmakers have long explored the vibrant dreamscapes of the human psyche. At its worst, cinema’s dream sequence is a lazy storytelling device. At its most compelling and complex, the hazy reverie of a character’s fantastical world draws you deeper into their narrative and offers a stunning palette for the senses. Inspired by science and cinema, here are several of film’s most visually intoxicating and riveting dream sequences. We can only hope that when scientists are finally able to tap into our mind’s eye, our dreams are as wild and gorgeous as these. What are your favorites?
La prisonnière (1968)
The final work of Les Diaboliques director Henri-Georges Clouzot provides little disproof of rumors concerning the auteur’s alleged penchant for sadism. La Prisonnière is loaded with ravishing imagery of vice, blending pop art and psychedelic style for a voyeuristic tale about a perverse love triangle involving a kinky photographer. The three-minute long hallucinatory dream sequence — which Clouzot designed his entire film around — is a staggering, erotic mind-bender.