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Published: Wed Oct 15 1975
Diego Isaias Hernández Méndez, Convertiendse en Characoteles / Sorcerers Changing into Their Animal Forms (detail), 2013, oil on canvas. Arte Maya Tz’utujil Collection.
AGNI 4 Journeys Family Arts

This film will present one night’s dreams. It will open with the first dream of the night and will close with the last. The same few actors, four men and three women, will reappear in every scene, and their roles, though different, will be consistent. There will be one actor, a male, who reappears in every dream. His roles will vary from the most central to the most peripheral; in some cases he will merely be present as an observer. There will be one other actor who will appear only once. Dialogue, though not entirely absent, will be limited. Transitions from one dream to the next will occur by association; as one dream ends some element in its final scene will be transposed to the next. From time to time the actors will insert a short, secret scene, an interlude. They will briefly drop their masks and converse with each other using their actual names. Doors will open around them, and out of these doors will come their parents and children. The families will interact in unstaged confusion, but almost before the interlude is noticed the actors will resume their roles, and the next scene take place. The type of dream presented, and the actual scene of the dreams, will vary greatly, from the commonplace to the alien, from the present to the primitive past. The dreamer will never be identified.

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Howard Schwartz was the winner of the 2005 National Jewish Book Award for Tree of Souls: The Mythology of Judaism, reissued with annotations in 2007 by Oxford University Press. He teaches English at the University of Missouri in St. Louis. (updated 7/2010)

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