Friday, September 23, 2011

Interview with Michel Gondry on 'The Science of Sleep'

An excerpt from The Evening Class Blogspot

MG: You've gone on record as criticizing the symbolic approach towards dream interpretation, especially Sigmund Freud's theories where specific equations are drawn between an image and its meaning, and have insisted upon a scientific treatment of dreams. I'm not clear on how you're using that term "scientific", however, and wondered if you could tell me what it is that makes your creative approach scientific?

Gondry: I'm not saying my approach is scientific, I'm saying I like the scientific approach better than the psychological approach. The main difference is the scientific approach is requestioned every time the technology evolve[s], all the time discovery is being made, the community has to adapt. As for the Freud [theories], they are more like a dogma. They have been created by Sigmund Freud and that's itbasically. It's not because somebody [found] a machine to look [at] what's going on in the brain. I think it's wrong. It's like the evolution theory vs. the creationist on what's written in the Bible. People have to adapt. You cannot ignore that the Earth is 5000 years old, except if you're in Texas. It's common sense in a way because it's been proven by many many different direction[s]. I think with psychoanalysis and dream interpretation, the functional bases have been proven wrong by scientists who are working with neurobiology.

MG: Well, it worked. Clearly, lucid dreaming is of predominant interest for you: being aware of the dream experience as you are experiencing it. Or as the Tibetans would say, bringing a spark of light into the dark recesses of the human psyche. Are you familiar at all with the dream work of Carlos CastaƱeda and the shamanic practice of approaching dreams not as the psychic reworking of the day's refuse but the experiential chance to use dreams as gateways into alternative dimensions and universes?

Gondry: It seems I grew up with a lot of New Age belief and current implication. I [have] become very drawn to science and [I've] become a little—not scared—but a little differences with what people want to believe. I know of this person but it's the type of reading my mind would have over and over when I was a kid so now I am not drawn to that; I am more interested to try to read science magazines. I think they are more magical to me. It's the same way I find astronomy more magical than astrology.

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