Dreams Within a Dream: The Films of Peter Weir

4 avg rating
( 5 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780809322848: Dreams Within a Dream: The Films of Peter Weir

"What we see, and what we seem, are but a dream, a dream within a dream." Michael Bliss views Miranda's voice-over at the beginning of Picnic at Hanging Rock as so pivotal in explaining the films of Peter Weir that he borrows her words to create the title of his own study of the Australian filmmaker's work.

Bliss views Weir as an artist whose values are rooted in the realm of the dream, of the unconscious. Surrealistic in technique, Weir avoids the pedestrian assurances of a material realm in favor of an irresolution that, while potentially frustrating, is nonetheless for him a more truthful representation of what he considers reality. For Weir, as for Plato, Bliss demonstrates, "empirical reality is nothing more than a shadow of what is real."

Bliss also considers Weir's heritage. Australian cinema, Bliss explains, is characterized by melodramatic narratives born of a desire to see good and evil portrayed in striking opposition. Weir, for example, dramatizes the contradictory forces of light versus darkness, reason versus mystery, and rationality versus magic in such films as Picnic at Hanging Rock and The Last Wave. This melodramatic emphasis is evident as well in the polarized characterizations in such films as Witness, Dead Poets Society, and The Truman Show.

Bliss also discusses Weir's use of another staple of Australian cinema— "mateship," the celebration of the bond between male companions. But by making self-knowledge dependent on action involving one's friends, Weir gives mateship a new meaning. Moreover, like other Australian filmmakers, Weir emphasizes the starkness of the Australian landscape, which functions either as a hazard or a deadly challenge, at least until American mythology caused him to see nature in a more positive light. Also prominent in Weir's films is an Australian spirit of rebellion coupled with the Aussie ambivalence toward all aspects of British culture.

To help explain Weir's films, Bliss looks to Freud and Jung, whom Weir has studied, and also to two other prominent purveyors of myth and archetype, Northrop Frye and Joseph Campbell. Virtually all Weir characters struggle toward a new mode of awareness, a psychological awareness based on archetypal truths. Many of his films involve archetypal journeys heading through conflict to spiritual unity. Weir's quest is to find out what we really know and how we know what we know.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap:

"What we see and what we seem are but a dream, a dream within a dream", says a character at the beginning of Peter Weir's Picnic at Hanging Rock. The statement is more than just an introduction to Picnic's beautifully ethereal world; it is also a fitting beginning for a consideration of Peter Weir's films. The director of The Year of Living Dangerously, Dead Poets Society, Witness, and the recent The Truman Show is a cinema stylist whose values derive from the realm of the dream and the unconscious. As Michael Bliss demonstrates, for Weir, "empirical reality is nothing more than a shadow of what is real".

Bliss considers Weir's heritage, Australian cinema, which gave the director some of his most basic themes: the conflict between reason and mystery; the confrontation with an alien and often threatening landscape; the hero's journey into a region in which good and evil are in cosmic opposition.

Bliss also discusses Weir's appropriation and adaptation of another quality endemic to Australian cinema: "mateship", the celebration of the bond between male companions. By making self-knowledge dependent on action involving one's friends, Weir gives mateship a new meaning, as he demonstrates in his celebrated war film Gallipoli.

To help explain Weir's films, Bliss looks to Freud and Jung, whom Weir has studied, as well as to two other prominent purveyors of myth and archetype: Northrop Frye and Joseph Campbell. Virtually all of Weir's characters struggle toward a new mode of awareness, one that is based on elemental truths and spiritual unity.

Weir's films evidence a striking unity of attitude. From his first widely distributed film, The Cars That Ate Paris, to 1998's The Truman Show,Weir's masterful technique and consistently challenging films mark him as one of our most important contemporary filmmakers. Dreams Within a Dream makes Weir come alive in the emotional and intellectual ways that his films do.

About the Author:

Michael Bliss teaches English and film criticism at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Among his previous titles is (with Christina Banks) What Goes Around Comes Around: The Films of Jonathan Demme.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Bliss, Michael
Published by Southern Illinois University Pre (2000)
ISBN 10: 0809322846 ISBN 13: 9780809322848
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Solr Books
(Skokie, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Southern Illinois University Pre, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Ships Fast! Satisfaction Guaranteed!. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000530929

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 38.76
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Bliss, Michael
Published by Southern Illinois Univ
ISBN 10: 0809322846 ISBN 13: 9780809322848
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Rating
[?]

Book Description Southern Illinois Univ. Book Condition: BRAND NEW. BRAND NEW Hardcover A Brand New Quality Book from a Full-Time Bookshop in business since 1992!. Bookseller Inventory # 2335409

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 43.94
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Bliss, Michael
ISBN 10: 0809322846 ISBN 13: 9780809322848
New Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
Paperbackshop-US
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2000. HRD. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # TX-9780809322848

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 43.04
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Michael Bliss
Published by University of Chicago press
ISBN 10: 0809322846 ISBN 13: 9780809322848
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
INDOO
(Avenel, NJ, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description University of Chicago press. Book Condition: New. Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 0809322846

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 44.28
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.50
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Michael Bliss
Published by Southern Illinois University Press, United States (2000)
ISBN 10: 0809322846 ISBN 13: 9780809322848
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Southern Illinois University Press, United States, 2000. Hardback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. What we see, and what we seem, are but a dream, a dream within a dream. Michael Bliss views Miranda s voice-over at the beginning of Picnic at Hanging Rock as so pivotal in explaining the films of Peter Weir that he borrows her words to create the title of his own study of the Australian filmmaker s work. Bliss views Weir as an artist whose values are rooted in the realm of the dream, of the unconscious. Surrealistic in technique, Weir avoids the pedestrian assurances of a material realm in favour of an irresolution that, while potentially frustrating, is nonetheless for him a more truthful representation of what he considers reality. For Weir, as for Plato, Bliss demonstrates, empirical reality is nothing more than a shadow of what is real . Bliss also considers Weir s heritage. Australian cinema, Bliss explains, is characterized by melodramatic narratives born of a desire to see good and evil portrayed in striking opposition. Weir, for example, dramatizes the contradictory forces of light versus darkness, reason versus mystery, and rationality versus magic in such films as Picnic at Hanging Rock and The Last Wave . This melodramatic emphasis is evident as well in the polarized characterizations in such films as Witness , Dead Poets Society , and The Truman Show . Bliss also discusses Weir s use of another staple of Australian cinema - mateship , the celebration of the bond between male companions. But by making self-knowledge dependent on action involving one s friends, Weir gives mateship a new meaning. Moreover, like other Australian filmmakers, Weir emphasizes the starkness of the Australian landscape, which functions either as a hazard or a deadly challenge, at least until American mythology caused him to see nature in a more positive light. Also prominent in Weir s films is an Australian spirit of rebellion coupled with the Aussie ambivalence toward all aspects of British culture. To help explain Weir s films, Bliss looks to Freud and Jung, whom Weir has studied, and also to two other prominent purveyors of myth and archetype, Northrop Frye and Joseph Campbell. Virtually all Weir characters struggle toward a new mode of awareness, a psychological awareness based on archetypal truths. Many of his films involve archetypal journeys heading through conflict to spiritual unity. Weir s quest is to find out what we really know and how we know what we know. Bookseller Inventory # AAN9780809322848

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 54.69
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Michael Bliss
Published by Southern Illinois University Press, United States (2000)
ISBN 10: 0809322846 ISBN 13: 9780809322848
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Southern Illinois University Press, United States, 2000. Hardback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. What we see, and what we seem, are but a dream, a dream within a dream. Michael Bliss views Miranda s voice-over at the beginning of Picnic at Hanging Rock as so pivotal in explaining the films of Peter Weir that he borrows her words to create the title of his own study of the Australian filmmaker s work. Bliss views Weir as an artist whose values are rooted in the realm of the dream, of the unconscious. Surrealistic in technique, Weir avoids the pedestrian assurances of a material realm in favour of an irresolution that, while potentially frustrating, is nonetheless for him a more truthful representation of what he considers reality. For Weir, as for Plato, Bliss demonstrates, empirical reality is nothing more than a shadow of what is real . Bliss also considers Weir s heritage. Australian cinema, Bliss explains, is characterized by melodramatic narratives born of a desire to see good and evil portrayed in striking opposition. Weir, for example, dramatizes the contradictory forces of light versus darkness, reason versus mystery, and rationality versus magic in such films as Picnic at Hanging Rock and The Last Wave . This melodramatic emphasis is evident as well in the polarized characterizations in such films as Witness , Dead Poets Society , and The Truman Show . Bliss also discusses Weir s use of another staple of Australian cinema - mateship , the celebration of the bond between male companions. But by making self-knowledge dependent on action involving one s friends, Weir gives mateship a new meaning. Moreover, like other Australian filmmakers, Weir emphasizes the starkness of the Australian landscape, which functions either as a hazard or a deadly challenge, at least until American mythology caused him to see nature in a more positive light. Also prominent in Weir s films is an Australian spirit of rebellion coupled with the Aussie ambivalence toward all aspects of British culture. To help explain Weir s films, Bliss looks to Freud and Jung, whom Weir has studied, and also to two other prominent purveyors of myth and archetype, Northrop Frye and Joseph Campbell. Virtually all Weir characters struggle toward a new mode of awareness, a psychological awareness based on archetypal truths. Many of his films involve archetypal journeys heading through conflict to spiritual unity. Weir s quest is to find out what we really know and how we know what we know. Bookseller Inventory # AAN9780809322848

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 56.45
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Bliss, Michael
Published by Southern Illinois University Press (2000)
ISBN 10: 0809322846 ISBN 13: 9780809322848
New Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Books2Anywhere
(Fairford, GLOS, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Southern Illinois University Press, 2000. HRD. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from UK in 4 to 14 days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # CE-9780809322848

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 47.00
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 11.92
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Michael Bliss
Published by Southern Illinois University Press, United States (2000)
ISBN 10: 0809322846 ISBN 13: 9780809322848
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
Book Depository hard to find
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Southern Illinois University Press, United States, 2000. Hardback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. What we see, and what we seem, are but a dream, a dream within a dream. Michael Bliss views Miranda s voice-over at the beginning of Picnic at Hanging Rock as so pivotal in explaining the films of Peter Weir that he borrows her words to create the title of his own study of the Australian filmmaker s work. Bliss views Weir as an artist whose values are rooted in the realm of the dream, of the unconscious. Surrealistic in technique, Weir avoids the pedestrian assurances of a material realm in favour of an irresolution that, while potentially frustrating, is nonetheless for him a more truthful representation of what he considers reality. For Weir, as for Plato, Bliss demonstrates, empirical reality is nothing more than a shadow of what is real . Bliss also considers Weir s heritage. Australian cinema, Bliss explains, is characterized by melodramatic narratives born of a desire to see good and evil portrayed in striking opposition. Weir, for example, dramatizes the contradictory forces of light versus darkness, reason versus mystery, and rationality versus magic in such films as Picnic at Hanging Rock and The Last Wave . This melodramatic emphasis is evident as well in the polarized characterizations in such films as Witness , Dead Poets Society , and The Truman Show . Bliss also discusses Weir s use of another staple of Australian cinema - mateship , the celebration of the bond between male companions. But by making self-knowledge dependent on action involving one s friends, Weir gives mateship a new meaning. Moreover, like other Australian filmmakers, Weir emphasizes the starkness of the Australian landscape, which functions either as a hazard or a deadly challenge, at least until American mythology caused him to see nature in a more positive light. Also prominent in Weir s films is an Australian spirit of rebellion coupled with the Aussie ambivalence toward all aspects of British culture. To help explain Weir s films, Bliss looks to Freud and Jung, whom Weir has studied, and also to two other prominent purveyors of myth and archetype, Northrop Frye and Joseph Campbell. Virtually all Weir characters struggle toward a new mode of awareness, a psychological awareness based on archetypal truths. Many of his films involve archetypal journeys heading through conflict to spiritual unity. Weir s quest is to find out what we really know and how we know what we know. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780809322848

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 60.51
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Michael Bliss
Published by Southern Illinois University Press (2000)
ISBN 10: 0809322846 ISBN 13: 9780809322848
New Hardcover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Southern Illinois University Press, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0809322846

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 61.99
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Bliss, Michael
Published by Southern Illinois University P (2000)
ISBN 10: 0809322846 ISBN 13: 9780809322848
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Southern Illinois University P, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110809322846

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 62.60
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 1.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book