The 23-minute film «Among Dreams» (ENTRE SONHOS) by Joaquim Pavão is part of a cinematic project called SCULP. In addition to this short film, it includes the art project SCULP_SONHOS and the feature film SCULP. «Among Dreams» is based on the installation of SONHOS_SCULP.
The universe of the SCULP project is a post-apocalyptic world, and the story about this world can be attributed to the genre of dystopia. Thus, «Among Dreams» is not a separate short film, but an art product that exists in a broader cultural context. The SCULP exists not only on the screen but also in the museum space (International Museum of Contemporary Sculpture — MIEC). That is why this film is valuable and interesting in the first place as part of the overall project. Nevertheless, the 23-minute film has its own aesthetic value and allows the viewers to get an idea about the whole project.
The frames of the film amaze your imagination with their picturesque composition. Here, color, light, space, and characters are combined in a single harmony. The film language is based on deep symbolism and metaphors. Despite the absence of a traditional narrative, the viewer will easily be able to see the meanings captured on the screen. In some scenes, the director uses voices that explain everything that happens on the screen. In fact, these voices belong to those beings who, in fact, control humanity. These unknown demiurges have subdued people to their will and control them by generated voices.
The work of the camera, light, color, and direction create amazing «living pictures». The visual perfection of the film brings to mind the masterpieces of world painting. It is no accident that the credits of a short film run for five minutes. This small film is the result of a huge effort that required significant technical and human resources.
Frankly speaking, the post-apocalyptic plot is not a fertile ground for fantasy. Post-apocalypse and dystopia have long been popular genres in literature, movies, and computer games. Perhaps, in this genre, it is very difficult to say a new word. Whatever idea came up with, most likely, something similar has already been in one form or another. Therefore, the key idea of the authors that the future will not be a democratic paradise, but a totalitarian hell, is not so original. And this idea was used not only in Orwell’s novel «1984» or in the cult TV series «Black Mirror».
Nevertheless, for us, modern people, it is not the originality of the idea that is important, but the idea itself as a phenomenon. In other words, why does humanity paint its future in such dark colors? Why is the modern world so close to a society of total control? Until recently, it was fashionable to criticize globalism and the dictates of multinational corporations. From time to time, we see the popular intellectuals with ideas about the “end of history” or “black swan”. The end of capitalism has been predicted many times, but so far attempts to build something different have not been crowned with global success.
It is obvious that the modern world is unstable and unbalanced. And even if we do not take into account the situation with the pandemic and lockdowns, we must admit that the modern world with its technologies is closer than ever to total control and the dictate of will. That’s why the film “Among Dreams» is more actual than ever.