From The Desk Of Ann Magnuson: “I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night”

At her funniest, musician/actress/performance artist Ann Magnuson skewers pop and celebrity culture like nobody else. And there’s a lot of that skewering on her new album, Dream Girl, Magnuson’s third LP following the strangely underrated The Luv Show and Pretty Songs & Ugly Stories. Magnuson will be guest editing all week. Dream on.

Magnuson: I planned to end my stint as guest editor with a grand finale featuring my favorite dream sequences. But there are too damn many of them! Besides, there are already online lists galore. This one, from Welcome to Twin Peaks ain’t bad except it doesn’t include some of my favorites:

Ingmar Bergman’s classic dream from Wild Strawberries;

Mia Farrow being impregnated by Satan in Rosemary’s Baby (even scarier dubbed in Polish!)

The unnerving surprise ending from Carrie

Every moment in the Japanese ghost-story movie Kwaidan (this isn’t technically a dream sequence, but the whole movie plays like one, even more than Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams)

So does everything by Andrei Tarkovsky, cinema’s true poet. So many of his films, like Solaris, feel like dreams from beginning to end. There are too many bona fide dream sequences in Tarkovsky films to list but you can peruse them here on YouTube.

This dream from Ivan’s Childhood is particularly sweet

This one from Stalker is particularly haunted

But my personal favorite is this sequence from Nostalgia. It’s deceptively simple and deliberately slow. There are no fisheye lenses, no frenetic edits, no crazy colors, disturbing clowns, little people or pink elephants on parade. But what happens at the very end is quite profound. Working with time and poetic simplicity (as well as a legacy of Russian mysticism), Tarkovsky manages to express something that is beyond understanding.

Clinical psychologist and University of Toronto professor Dr. Jordan Peterson brilliantly articulates this “something that is beyond understanding” in his lecture, deconstructing David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive (possibly the best movie about Hollywood ever!)

Peterson gives us a crash course in Freud, Jung and why David Lynch is a “Post-Freudian” like Salvador Dali.nWhile Tarkovsky is not specifically mentioned, it’s easy to see that his artistry is far more Jungian. Peterson knows his stuff. Check out the many other fascinating videos on his YouTube channel!

I could go on and on (and have), but we’ve finally come to the end of our MAGNET-sponsored Dream Weeks. As a final farewell, I had planned on posting the 1967 American Bandstand appearance of the Electric Prunes singing “I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night).” After all, as Dick Clark says here in the clip, “It’s a gassy thing.”, 

But then I discovered an incredible cover version of the song by … the Space Lady! Yes, I am admittedly late to the Space Lady Party, but now that I’m here, I’m ready to put an intergalactic lampshade on my head and trance-dance until dawn! The Space Lady is spectacular! She’s renewed my faith in DIY and is my new spirit animal! Her renditions (and street performances) of the songs “Strawberry Fields” and “Major Tom” are pure genius. Her version of “Across The Universe” is cosmically healing!

So this one is for all you space ladies and gentlemen. Thanks for hanging out with me these two weeks. It’s been a gassy thing! See you in my dreams!