Ch 10. Is Watching Movies Like Dreaming?


This chapter examines the claim that watching movies is akin to dreaming and that the power of cinema derives from its dreamlike qualities. I evaluate arguments from Metz, Langer, Sparshott, and McGinn.  McGinn's argument is the most elaborate, but it suffers from serious problems. More plausible explanations of the power of cinema are available. The chapter discusses Carroll's theory. Finally the chapter explores the prospects for the inverse claim, that our dreams are influenced by movies. As Schwitzgebel notes, prior to the advent of color TV, it seems that most Americans claimed to dream in black and white.

PhilPapers Bibliography

YouTube Channel - Playlist for Ch 10 [here]