The Dramatic Mind's Eye-or-Hollywood's Royal Road to Romance

Dramatic Montage of Films, Dreams and Fantasies

In remembering films I saw as a child and adolescent, many movies are magically conjured up. The films images dramatically transport into my mind's eye, where a memorable montage of Hollywood's dream factory productions of their "reel world" takes dramatic shape; Disney's "The Sword in the Stone", "Gone with the Wind", "Dr Zhivago", "Goldfinger", "The Maltese Falcon", "Casablanca" and "Affair to Remember". Of course, those were not the only films I recall by any stretch of the dramatic imagination.

Marshal McLuhan Understanding Media understood that; "The film industry had long beaten out a royal road of romance in keeping with the crescendo of the success story." For McLuhan, the "reel world" of film "...offers an inward world of fantasy and dreams." The Hollywood dream factory's royal road to the audience's mind's eye follows the enchanting yellow brick road to the inward world of fantasy and dreams. As Dorothy says in "The Wizard of Oz"; "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more." However for some, their mind's eye and the "suspension of disbelief", on the journey along this romantic royal road has turned into Hollywood's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams". Think of the noir film "Sunset Boulevard"

Many dreams and articles posted at the International Institute for Dream Research (IIDR) website discuss this durable archetypological romantic theme and story in all its' vicissitudes. One such tragic romantic film finds an audience and a voice in a dream sent to the IIDR. The "recurring dream" below is much like the tale of the romantic imagination found in the signature song of the film Titanic itself, that tells us My Heart Will Go On, (watch music video). 

Virginia, 31

I keep having this recurring dream, where I run down a long hallway and into a massive atrium/lobby of a building with a glass front. There are lots of people stood about. When I get into there, a piece of music from the film 'Titanic' called 'The Portrait' starts to play out of nowhere. Then everyone in the room closes their eyes, floats about a foot off the ground, spins around really fast and then vanishes. I go outside (through the doors of the lobby) and it starts raining... Then I wake up.

Mr Hagen's Reply: Hollywood's Ship of Dreams -or- Welcome to the Reel World

Old Rose; "Titanic was called the Ship of Dreams, and it was. It really was."

Old Rose; "Fifteen-hundred people went into the sea, when Titanic sank from under us. There were twenty boats floating nearby... and only one came back. One. Six were saved from the water, myself included. Six... out of fifteen-hundred. Afterward, the seven-hundred people in the boats had nothing to do but wait... wait to die... wait to live... wait for an absolution... that would never come."

James Cameron's cinematic masterpiece Titanic in the epic narrative tradition of tragic romance brings two young star crossed lovers together, where only one survives to tell the tale. The survivor Rose, not only tells the story of the ill-fated journey and sinking of the iconic ship the Titanic, but also discloses the untold story of the origins of ‘The Portrait' (also found in the dream above). The portrait was found in a cabin safe of a passenger of the Titanic by a salvage crew of treasure hunters who were in search of, and hoping to find, the "Heart of the Ocean".

‘The Portrait' is of an unknown woman who is artistically posed nude, while wearing the necklace, "Heart of the Ocean". The drawing is dated April 14, 1912, the day the Titanic hit the iceberg. Rose Dawson Calvert after hearing of the discovery, contacts the treasure hunters and comes aboard the salvage ship. Rose discloses the full story of the fateful events on the Titanic and reveals her true identity to the treasure hunters and the audience.

In the dream above, we find, that at first it takes place inside, at the end the dreamer (Virginia) goes outside, only to find that it is "raining". The poetic story of love and passion emotionally moves us inside, then when she goes outside, she finds herself crying (=raining). The treasure hunter Brock Lovett (Bill Paxton) uses a similar metaphor: "Three years, I've thought of nothing except Titanic; but I never got it... I never let it in." Letting it in, is what the dream above and the film is all about. The signature song of Titanic provides the musical key to unlocking the secret door of Virgina's dream and letting us in; Virginia poetically says that she goes; "through the doors", the lyrics of the song My Heart Will Go On read;

"Once more, you opened the door And you're here in my heart, and my heart will go on and on." Old Rose is told that; "We never found anything on Jack... there's no record of him at all." Old Rose replies; "No, there wouldn't be, would there? And I've never spoken of him until now... Not to anyone... A woman's heart is a deep ocean of secrets. But now you know there was a man named Jack Dawson and that he saved me... in every way that a person can be saved. I don't even have a picture of him. He exists now... only in my memory." (Watch "Titanic" video, a montage of the film)

The IIDR dream interpretation My Heart Will Go On discusses another dream about the Titanic. It also speculates on the nature of the ambiguous ending of the film. Perhaps it is not surprising to receive Virginia's new dream (above), since reportedly Titanic will be re-released (in 3-D) April 2012 to memorialize 100 years since it sank.

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