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Dude-a-palooza

25 Aug
Maude Lebowski bowls

“Your roll, New York,” says Lebowski Fest. Maude Lebowski (Julianne Moore), daughter of the Big Lebowski, not the Dude Lebowski.

This weekend Lebowski Fest was scheduled to bring fans of the Dude (Jeff Bridges in the The Big Lebowski [1998]) to Lucky Strike Lanes on far-west 42nd Street and Gramercy Theater on East 23rd Street. Although I have no reason to think the festival didn’t take place, I can’t say with certainty that it did, because I’m not a big enough Lebowski fan to have taken part. My lack of fandom for what’s been called a stoner masterpiece is of no consequence; easily enough without it, “The Dude abides.”

I had to do a Google search to be reminded whether there were any dream scenes. I have a poor enough memory for plot details, and this is a Coen Brothers movie about which, according to Wikipedia quoting an Indie Wire article, “Joel Coen stated: ‘We wanted to do a [Raymond] Chandler kind of story – how it moves episodically, and deals with the characters trying to unravel a mystery, as well as having a hopelessly complex plot that’s ultimately unimportant.'” As Roger Ebert described it, “‘The Big Lebowski’ is about an attitude, not a story….Only a steady hand in the midst of madness allows them [the Coen Brothers] to hold it all together–that, and the delirious richness of their visual approach.” All of which explains this film’s cult-fest worthiness. (Ebert’s review provides interesting backstory about the Coens’ inspiration for the main character.)

It turns out there are at least two major dream scenes, beloved of fans. One is a flying dream. The other is a Busby Berkeley* type of dance number to  Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) by Kenny Rogers & the First Edition (1968). Continue reading

1855 print: “A Dream of Twelfth Night”

8 Jul

New York City is a wonderful place in the summer (except maybe for the heat and humidity). There are scads of free events, especially outdoors: movies, drumming, opera, symphony performances, bike rides, gardening, art shows, and theater, Shakespeare in particular.

I’ve been on a Shakespeare kick the last few years as a result, but I’m still a beginner. So, always on the lookout for blog material, I Google a play’s title in combination with the word “dream.”

Twelfth Night is one of the plays being offered this year, at the municipal parking lot at Ludlow and Broome streets on the Lower East Side. (Shakespeare in the Parking Lot is, in its own right, one of the great things about summer in NYC.) Correct me if I missed something, but apparently dreams don’t figure in Twelfth Night (unlike, say, Macbeth, also being offered this summer — Macbeth in a New York Minute, by Classical Theatre of Harlem and Dimona Theater/Cultural Lab [based in Israel]).

A Dream of Twelfth Night is a different story. It’s not being offered in NYC, per se, but online (Amazon and eBay, also to be found on Google Books): it’s a drawing by George Thomas that appeared in The Illustrated London News of January 13, 1855.

"A Dream of Twelfth Night," by George Thomas

“A Dream of Twelfth Night,” by George Thomas

“The Everything Guide to Sleep” . . . Isn’t

13 Jun

New York magazine’s website has a set of articles collectively titled “The Everything Guide to Sleep,” which includes an infographic showing the sleep habits of a number of well-known artists, inventors, and so on. (As a commenter there pointed out, the group is short on women.)

There’s also a short interview titled “In Conversation With a Lucid Dreamer,” which is interesting but a woefully skimpy treatment of dreaming. Go on over and let New York know it’s missing so much! And that a good place to find it is the International Association for the Study of Dreams website, ASDreams.org. (I’m just back this week from IASD’s fabulous 2014 annual conference in Berkeley, so rich with everything from lucid dreaming to neuroscience to collage and poetry to church-based dream groups to Kabbalah. Endless dreaming and ways to work with dreams!)

Color quest, fall edition

23 Sep

The leaves haven’t turned yet, but I’ve recently been encountering echoes of some of the images I found, during this year’s sometimes drab spring, in my quest to incubate some vivid color into my dreams. The spring quest took a lot of tries before I got dream color: I wrote three posts about my multiple efforts.

Bel Borba aqui

One of those posts mentions a DVD titled Colors of a Creative Culture, about street artists in and around the city of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, engaged in community art projects: Continue reading

It’s gonna be a strange and wonderful weekend

2 Aug

Trying to be disciplined about staying on theme here, I don’t indulge much in posts about things that are dreamlike. But a selection of activities in New York City this weekend (and honestly, I’ve searched only Thursday and Friday at ClubFreetime.com) is too quirky to pass up commenting. And anyway, there really are some dream-titled ones among these events.

And me with a camera that’s refusing to work. Assuming I’m in town, I plan to get to as much as I can; thanks to the apartment search that’s become never-ending (and no further word from my landlord), I’ve been missing summer in a big way! Regardless — If you get to any of these events and find truly dream-related material (or have resulting dreams yourself), report back here!!

THURSDAY

Arctic Summer, Part 1, National Museum of the American Indian,several times during the day (and Friday, too)

The Owl and the Lemming: The quick-witted lemming outwits the hungry owl. Puppets made of sealskin by local artists act out this Inuit folktale.

The Twenty-First Annual World Eskimo-Indian Olympics: Competitions in strength, agility and traditional skills highlight this 1982 event. We see such events as the two-foot and one-foot high kicks, the knuckle hop, the blanket toss and the four-man carry.

The Owl who Married a Goose: An owl falls in love with a goose, but has a tough time adapting to life on the water. Continue reading

Howard Lerner: Myth and Metaphor (through July 7, 2012)

1 Jul

With having been away and previously getting ready to be away, I’m unfortunately rather late with this post. But there’s still a week left to see the incredible paintings and sculptures of New York artist  Howard Lerner at Synchronicity Fine Arts, 106 West 13th Street (between Fifth and Sixth avenues).

I previously wrote a post about “The Mystical Meaning of Jacob’s Ladder,” so at the opening for Howard’s current show, I was especially interested in a painting I hadn’t seen before, Jacob Dreaming, already so evocative in its own right.

"Jacob Dreaming," by Howard Lerner

“Jacob Dreaming,” by Howard Lerner

Continue reading

“Der Traum”

3 Jun

I’m working on my presentation (based largely on this blog)  for this year’s annual conference of the International Association for the Study of Dreams (June 22–26, 2012).

Gathering images for the PowerPoint, I went to the website of Columbia University’s Department of Germanic Languages (whose Wijnie de Groot presented a great one-night Dutch-language immersion class free during 5 Dutch Days in 2012; see my post “Woensdag, wij leren Nederlands!“). I expected to find the staid-looking Columbia seal that I believe was there last time I went to the site.

Instead what greets the site visitor now is the stunning orange-pink-blue lion–naked woman–horse of Franz Marc’s Der Traum (“The Dream” in German).

"Der Traum" by Franz Marc (1880–1916) (image from Wikipedia)

“Der Traum” by Franz Marc (1880–1916)
(image from Wikipedia)

Soooo much better!

Spring color quest (2): Pluralistic color

1 Jun

(Read the first installment, “March flowers brought May showers.”

My next ventures in search of color tended toward more pluralistic sources than Macy’s or Merriam-Webster, 3M Post-it Notes or an educational institution the size of New York University.

For a more heartfelt depiction of Brazilian color than the Macy’s flower show could offer, the next day (March 31) I finally checked out of the library a DVD I’d been seeing on the shelf for many months, Colors of a Creative Culture, by David Zucker.

Continue reading

Spring color quest (1): March flowers brought May showers

31 May

“May flowers” came in March’s near-record warmth here this year, and long before Memorial Day, New York’s flora had replaced much of its flower color with leaf green in shades of spring and even summer. Combined with the stretches of gray overcast we’ve had since March, the weather left me longing for more color at times, although I didn’t realize it until I noticed that color was on other people’s minds, too.

Around March 6, looking something up on the Huffington Post site for a NYC client, I stumbled upon an article about a Hindu festival of color called Holi. It looks like a a holiday I would happily embrace. I went to one of New York’s Little Indias to see what I could see, but I was too late.

Coloured powder cakes Hindus celebrating Holi (photo from The Huffington Post)

Coloured powder cakes Hindus celebrating Holi (photo from The Huffington Post)

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Stuff I wouldn’t be looking at if it weren’t for dreams

27 Apr

More hip-hop, only this time a visual interpretation. My last two posts (here and here) explain how I started following a hip-hop thread of associations in waking life because of a dream in which there’s a plate on a table that, when I woke, reminded me of a radio studio turntable.

Granted, I would have looked at Luke Haynes‘s website anyway, because tomorrow (4/28) he’s giving a talk at the American Folk Art Museum, across from Lincoln Center, and I’ll be too busy with other things to get to it. The museum event write-up says Haynes’s “background as an architect deeply informs his quilts” and that he “unites traditional quilt patterns with bold photo-based images.”

Haynes was living in Seattle at the time he wrote his About page, but apparently he lives in Brooklyn now. And he has a show going on at Eli Alexander Gallery, 15 East 27th Street, through May 21, so I’ll try to get to that instead.

But if it weren’t for a dream-inspired intellectual (if not visceral) interest in hip-hop, I wouldn’t have spent any time looking at Haynes’s Jay-Z/Kanye quilt (Jay-Z, born Shawn Carter, is a Brooklynite):

"The Throne," quilt by Luke Haynes

"The Throne," quilt by Luke Haynes
(image from LukeHaynes.com)

Continue reading