In a chapter I co-wrote with Bernard Welt for the newly-published book Lucid Dreaming: New Perspectives on Consciousness (Praeger, 2014), we discuss seven films that revolve around the experience of lucid dreaming, that is, becoming self-aware within the dream state. These movies are not necessarily "great" in the sense of being critically-acclaimed, cinematic classics. Most of them are fantasy or science fiction stories that tend to have limited appeal to mainstream audiences. What makes these seven films great is their vivid, intriguing portrayals of the possibilities and perils of lucid dreaming. They start with the premise that dream worlds can be as real as waking worlds, and from there they weave stories about people actively exploring those dream worlds and making discoveries both wondrous and horrifying.
Bernard and I talk about these films in further detail in the book chapter, along with additional context from the general history of film and dream research. But there is much more going on in these movies than we had space to cover. The lucid dream themes play out in the behavior of the characters...
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