Theme Month! October 2021: Dreams, Fantasies and Visions

It didn’t take long for early filmmakers to realize that movies were able to make the wildest flights of fancy come to life on the screen and this month, I will be looking at the many ways dreams, fantasies and visions were portrayed.

Throughout the silent era, fantasy sequences and visions were used as a convenient excuse to showcase lavish costumes and different time periods in otherwise contemporary films. Cecil B. DeMille was a master of this, from his Roman orgy in Manslaughter to nearly the entire runtime of The Road to Yesterday being taken up with a torrid cavalier love story.

Dreams and fantasies were often used to teach the main character a lesson, though these lessons were sometimes tongue-in-cheek. (Dream of a Rarebit Fiend, anyone?) And, of course, the “it was all a dream” plot twist was used in dramas and comedies alike.

I hope you will enjoy the wacky, wonderful and often weird world of fantasy and imagination portrayed onscreen during the silent era.


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