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A Nightmare (1896)

Le cauchemar (original title)
A man sleeps fitfully then dreams that a lovely woman is sitting at the foot of his bed. He reaches to embrace her and she becomes a minstrel, then Pierrot. The clown gestures to the moon ... See full summary »

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Storyline

A man sleeps fitfully then dreams that a lovely woman is sitting at the foot of his bed. He reaches to embrace her and she becomes a minstrel, then Pierrot. The clown gestures to the moon that becomes huge and bites the dreamer's hand. In fright, the man punches the moon, which returns to his proper place in the sky, only to be replaced by all three visions - woman, minstrel, and Pierrot. Finally the man wakes, his bed a shambles. What to do now? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Plot Keywords:

pierrot | minstrel | moon | bed | sleep | See All (26) »

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1896 (France)  »

Also Known As:

A Nightmare  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Georges Méliès: [moon] becomes anthropomorphic and tries to eat the main character, and is punched away by him See more »

Connections

Referenced in Le cauchemar de Méliès (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Forgotten dreams
22 February 2012 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

An early dream from the first minutes of cinema. We might as well be looking at some of the first images not just captured from reality, but really dreamed up with light. Now it seems modest, naive, primitive, but what outlandish phantasmagoria it must have been at the time; how modern, vibrant, strange, new, dangerous, exhilarating to see this with 1896 eyes. Imagine. The 19th century.

A man is sleeping at his bed. A woman appears, he reaches out to touch her and she turns into a minstrel, into a giant moon - an emblematic Melies motif - into a dancing troupe at his balcony.

By now, we have devised many different ways of both issuing these visions and shifting them within the context of a story, many devices to dream. Watching this, you get the picture that it goes back much further, further back into magic lantern shows and cameras obscura. The point? To bring internal worlds to life, and has not changed 100 years later.


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