Hollywood's Anatomy of Murder -or- Dial M for Murder

Planet Hollywood's Murder in the Cathedral -or- Murderers in the Global Village

This dream interpretation turns to and features, Hollywood's popular cultural trance of the post-modern condition of "cyber-consciousness" found in death and murder.

In ancient Greek mythology, Hypnos the god of sleep, finds a counterpart in his twin brother Thanatos the god of death. These thanatophobic and obsessive themes are found throughout history and all places and in our dreams. Death and murder have archetypally been personified  in literature, art, film. The necropolis or the "cities of the dead" visit our nightly ruminations in dreams. This is one of the reasons I don't particularly like to watch horror films, they give my imagination, the visceral "creeps". On the other hand, Michael Jackson's "Thriller" may be the greatest music video of all time.

Marshall McLuhan "Understanding Media", speaking about early cinema theatres in England said; "In England the movie theatre was called ‘The Bioscope,' because of its visual presentation of the actual movements of the forms of life (from Greek bios, way of life). McLuhan states about the film adaptation of the T.S. Eliot book "Murder in the Cathedral" (Eliot drew heavily on the "eye witness testimony" of Edward Grim), that Hollywood had to; "...provide authentic scholarly replicas of many of the past scenes."

For McLuhan; Hollywood, "offers an inward world of fantasy and dreams." For which; "The world eagerly lined up to buy canned dreams." Taken to the logical end of McLuhan's trains of thought about media, McLuhan clearly understood, that the film making industry, "is an aggressive and imperial form that explodes outward onto other cultures." This provides an in-depth psychological explanation of why many dreams received by the International Institute for Dream Research (IIDR) from around the globe, speak about the surreal dreams of American cultural and media imperialism. From a social psychological perspective, media and culture industry perspective, we live in "Planet Hollywood" (read interpretation).

Here then is a dream, story and possible Hollywood screenplay that reportedly has more fact than fiction about "Randsburg", CA another Murdertown, USA.

Sheena, 32 

After talking with Harry on the phone for about a week, that night I dreamed that;

"Harry's roommate was going to ask him the following day to go for a ride with him together in Harry's truck. If Harry would of said yes both Harry and his roommate would of been murdered by these two guys they had meet prior to the murder. I dreamed that Harry's roommate did indeed ask Harry to take a ride with him in his white truck, two door to Randsburg, but the dream I had gave me a chance to warn Harry not to go, so only the roommate was in the dream driving Harry's truck.

I saw the roommate driving up thru the desert towards Randsburg and the two men were following the roommate but he didn't know it. I could only see the two murderers from the neck down, not their faces, but did see the roommates face in the front seat of the truck with the door opened and the two men with a knife who slit his throat from one ear to the other. The truck was full of blood and parked on a hill in Randsburg, Ca.

What it was, is that Harry's roommate was a cocaine dealer and they both meet these two guys prior to the dream, and they knew the roommate had 5,000 dollars on him. They followed him to Randsburg and murdered him for the money. Like I said I never knew anything about what the roommate did, because I never meet him. This is a true story not only was a message in my dream to save my friend but I saved him twice watching them come down the road to  the apartment to get Harry, he was the only one who could ‘identify' (italics own) the two men and they wanted him dead.

Dial M for Murder -or- Spellbound in the Global Village

The Fault... is Not in Our Stars,

But in Ourselves...

- William Shakespeare

Hitchcock was one of the Hollywood cinema masters of the psychological crime mystery film. Think of the classic Hitchcock film "Psycho" and the horrific murder scene in the shower. After the film, Janet Leigh reportedly never took a shower in her life again, without locking the door first. In the film "Spellbound", Hitchcock uses the dream as narrative plot device, which helps to solve a murder, and restore the memory and identity of a man suffering from amnesia. Ingrid Bergman (as Dr Constance Peterson), stars as a psychoanalytic psychiatrist working at a psychiatric hospital. John Ballantyne (Gregory Peck) who has unwittingly (due to amnesia) assumed the identity of Dr Edwardes, is replacing Dr Murchison as the director of the hospital (Leo G. Carroll) who has been forced into retirement.

In true Petrarchan love story style and tradition, Edwardes and Peterson experience love at first sight. The unwitting ruse is uncovered and Ballantyne becomes a suspect in what turns out to be a murder hunt (murder of the real Dr Edwardes). With help from Dr Peterson, it turns out that the amnesiac Ballantyne had been impersonating Dr Edwardes because of guilt motives that are psychoanalytically traced to childhood. Ballantyne experiences a symbolic dream sequence, which was designed by the surrealist painter Salvador Dali. (Watch the video of the dream sequence). The dream and the encrypted memories in the symbolic images hold the code key to solving the murder. In the end, a Freudian slip by Dr Murchison leads Dr Peterson to realize the meaning of John Brown's (aka Ballantyne) dream, which identifies Murchison as the murderer. Peterson confronts the killer, thereby providing the tragic (for Dr Murchison) and happy ending denouement (for Constance and John) of this psychoanalysed film.

New York's "Grand Central Station" appears a number of times in the film. Is there a better psychoanalytic metaphor for Freud's "Interpretation of Dreams"? Freud extensively uses the metaphor of following the "trains of thought" in dreams, throughout the book. If the dream encodes the trains of thought, feelings, memory and meaning, then Freud saw himself as a modern scientist who had broken the hidden cognitive psychological code of dreams, dreaming and everyday life. Hitchcock attempted to bring this Freudian dream code to life in many of his other films, including the film adaptation of Daphne du Mauriers's novel "Rebecca", whose opening line begins with; "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderlay again." Hitchcock's voyeuristic masterpiece "Rear Window", "Vertigo" and "North by Northwest" (one of my favorites because it stars Cary Grant) are a testament of the influence of psychoanalysis on his film making.

The dream above, is the stuff of American film noir, one that is not only monetarily motivated, but also drug related. Noir, as the American dream gone wrong, finds expression in everyday life and in American nightmares. Here is a an old radio drama about a nightmare a married woman wakes up from and tells her husband; enjoy listening to the couple's conversation in "Murder by Experts: I Dreamt I Died".

Anatomy of Death and Murder -or- Hitchcock's Psychoanalysis of the Killer

Many dreams received by the IIDR tell the tales of dead men and women including the one above. Here is a list of dreams that speak about death, dying, suicide, genocide and murder. We know that the assination of Julius Caesar triggered off a civil war in the Roman empire. A murder would also trigger off WW I. It has been said that deadmen tell no tales, however if they were preceded by a dream, then let the dream speak for them and reveal their story.



All material Copyright 2006 International Institute for Dream Research. All rights reserved.