Strange Interludes

02/11/2013 12:20 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

With winter's cold weather and shorter days, I almost feel like I've been hibernating. I've been taking more naps than usual and, when the sound of my own snoring awakens me, merely roll over and go back to sleep. That's when things get a bit dicey.

Even if I'm trying to read a book, once my eyelids get heavy and I start to snooze, a world of wild fantasy opens up. My dreams may not be as awesome as Neil Patrick Harris' delightful "puppet dreams," but they're a bit like watching a Fellini film on hallucinogenic drugs.

Those of us who are heavy dreamers can sometimes identify moments from our dreams that were probably triggered by events of the day. For example, a young woman recently hijacked an empty commuter train near Stockholm, Sweden and rammed it into an apartment building when the train jumped the tracks at high speed.

How does the daily noise we absorb make its presence felt in our subconscious? That night I had a dream in which a powerful computer was copying 8" floppy disks and spitting them out, one after another, wrapped in their paper sleeves. As the computer started running out of space for more floppy disks, it broke loose from its braces, jumped off its shelf, and careened out the front door of the office.

The wonderful thing about dreams is that they let someone travel through a fantasy world where the usual physical restrictions of three dimensions are null and void. Things that could not happen in real life occur rapidly, often in astonishing colors, and with a vitality that is nothing less than remarkable. Often, gravity doesn't exist.

Two shorts being screened during the SFIndie Film Festival have been written and filmed in a manner that captures the wild fluidity and occasionally wacky humor that we find in our dreamscapes. Although each film is quite brief, it showcases a talented filmmaker with an exciting artistic vision which is bound to bear future fruit.

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Italian animator, Alessio Travaglini, manages to reference complex political challenges in her provocative new short entitled Silenziosa-Mente (Silent Mind).

Although much of Silent Mind seems to have been done in shades of red, white, and black, it makes astonishing use of the kind of bizarre, nonsensical images which can pepper our dreams. The following trailer gives a glimpse into some of Travaglini's artwork. Although her film is barely five minutes long, it packs quite a wallop.

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Have you ever longed to see a mime get stomped to death by a 50-foot tall woman wearing red sneakers (who gets abducted by aliens while trying to lift an apartment building in Paris off the ground)? Look no further than Guillaume Niquet's magnificent new short film entitled O.V.N.I.

Barely six minutes long, O.V.N.I. focuses on a tightly-wound woman named Mariane who is overtly paranoid and convinced that she's "special." As she wanders around the streets of the city, people react strangely to her presence. If you could imagine a farcical version of The X-Files with a set of mischievous aliens trying to figure out what to do with their new toy, you'd be close to discovering the perverse joys of O.V.N.I. Here's the trailer:

To read more of George Heymont go to My Cultural Landscape