'The Psychology of Dream Analysis': An Early Short Film From the Director of 'Looper'

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Shot in 2002, Rian Johnson's scrappy, low-budget film tells the captivating story of a young woman who has been having someone else's dreams. Constructed from simple elements, the film skips dialogue in favor of wry voiceover narration and takes place in a couple everyday locations: a magazine shop, a café, a bedroom. The standard definition video (ripped from a DVD copy) is not much to look at, but it packs a punch, raising interesting philosophical questions about identity, love, and the nature of dreams. 

Ivan Kander's review at Short of the Week ponders the masterful storytelling that makes Johnson's films successful: "It’s a testament to Johnson’s skill that the entire film feels so breezy — this is more Being John Malkovich than Inception."  The filmmaker went on to write and direct Brick, a neo-noir thriller starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, with a total budget under $500,000. This debut won the Special Jury Prize for Originality of Vision at Sundance in 2005. His latest film, Looper, is a Hollywood action movie starring Bruce Willis and Gordon-Levitt, made for $30 million. With three features to his name now, Johnson's career arc is the stuff that indie filmmakers' dreams are made of. 

For more videos from Rian Johnson, see his Vimeo channel

Via Short of the Week

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Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.
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