Kurosawa’s DREAMS in Eight Tarot Cards

|Caroline Rutkiewicz|

Dreams screens at the Trylon Cinema from Friday, February 25 to Sunday, February 27. Scroll to the bottom of this page for tickets and more information.


I. Curiosity

Curiosity turns to fear when our protagonist discovers the rare fox wedding. Only occurring on days where sun shines during a rainstorm, the rainbow contradicts the horror of losing honor, becoming hunted, and being left to survive alone. This dream contains the fear of many children; forced alone after a seemingly simple mistake.

II. Empathy for the Mother

Choosing empathy over success, our protagonist must plead his case for the gods of the peach tree orchard. Whether the gods are truly there is another debate, but this dream reminds the audience that our values are our soul and cannot be taken. The protagonist only wants to protect nature and see it thrive, rather than cut it down for personal gain. 

III. Desperation 

A vicious snowstorm brings our protagonist to the edge of life and death. Seeing a figure that could push him either way, the man is forced to question his own mind and values. Demon or angel, the man must decide what is worth it while stuck in the masses of snow.

IV. Heavy is the Guilt

In a literal tunnel vision, our protagonist now faces one of the worst nightmares of life: war. The ghosts of his past force him to confront every decision he has made as a leader. Growing heavier and heavier, the man could be forever be haunted by this trauma, or he could promise to make up for his mistakes.

V. Admiration

An artist entering Vincent Van Gogh’s world, our protagonist is now witnessing an inspiration in the process of creating. Though Van Gogh never saw himself as good enough, we now see him through a light of admiration from the protagonist. A true dream of every artist, just a moment to witness their idol in action. An exploration through beautiful landscapes and a struggling artist trying to capture them.

VI. Beginning of the End

The beginnings of a possible apocalypse, this dream contains the true mental breakdown of watching your world being destroyed. The protagonist is desperate to protect or run, but all the while knowing there is no way out. The fear of life ending, for yourself and for family, will always be a fatalist nightmare. 

VII. Overgrowth

Possibly within the post-apocalyptic world, the protagonist sees the devastating effects of nuclear fallout. Weeds are growing bigger than humans, humans becoming more like demons. A science-fiction-like take on the politics of nuclear plants and weapons, this dream shows the audience what this power has done and will do to humans. It will corrupts the body, but also will corrupt the minds in power. 

VIII. Learning from the Father

Shifting to a true dream, the protagonist now explores an isolated village that seems happier than any other. Without technology or modern issues, the town can live in peace, even through a death in the community. The protagonist and audience may not understand, but there is no need. The only need is that each discovers what they need to be happy and live a content life.