We Are Such Stuff As Dreams Are Made On
May 14, 2014 6:08 PM   Subscribe

"Small electrical pulses during sleep make some people feel as though they can manipulate their dreams, a team from Goethe University Frankfurt and the University of Goettingen reported Sunday," reports NPR. But writer Ursula LeGuin was there first: YouTube Theater presents "The Lathe of Heaven" (1980), a public television adaptation of LeGuin's 1971 novel of the same name. Lucid dreaming was never such a nightmare... (Previously and previously.)
posted by MonkeyToes (26 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
Saw that when it was first broadcast. A really amazing production.
posted by localroger at 6:10 PM on May 14, 2014 [4 favorites]

effective dreaming
posted by thelonius at 6:20 PM on May 14, 2014

effective dreaming

Argh, yes, indeed. Typed while I was feeling very, very sleepy. And maybe creeped out. This production has been hiding somewhere in my memory for years, and I was delighted/horrified to find the complete version online.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:24 PM on May 14, 2014

I'm a genuine effective dreamer, but that may be because I'm somnambulist who gets up and goes on missions while the systems are shut down.
posted by sonascope at 6:25 PM on May 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

I had a DVD of this, which I gave away to some friends who had watched it when they were first dating. So, thanks much.
posted by thelonius at 6:29 PM on May 14, 2014

What am I missing here? Lucid dreaming isn't the same thing as magically resculpting reality.
posted by codswallop at 6:36 PM on May 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

The film was shot at locations in Dallas, Texas, rather than in Portland, Oregon.[5] These included the Dallas City Hall, the Tandy Center, Hyatt Regency Dallas and Reunion Tower, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, and a vacated Mobil Oil Building in Fort Worth.

Man, shades of Logan's Run, which for me is still a guilty pleasure. I watched the first 30 minutes of Lathe of Heaven a few years ago.. with that nice Quadruplex transfer looks like I need to finish it.
posted by crapmatic at 6:38 PM on May 14, 2014

What am I missing here?

"effective dreaming" was what the doctor on the novel named it
posted by thelonius at 6:44 PM on May 14, 2014

LoH was a very groundbreaking work when it was broadcast. There wasn't a lot of film or broadcast SF to compare it to at the time.
posted by localroger at 6:48 PM on May 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

Better and weirder than the 2002 movie with Lukas Haas.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 6:48 PM on May 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

Dallas City Hall makes me smile every time I drive past it for this very reason.
posted by emjaybee at 6:53 PM on May 14, 2014

The alpha and omega of public television sci-fi
posted by destro at 6:54 PM on May 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

This is apparently the second in a trilogy of PBS SF adaptations that ended with the infamous Overdrawn at the Memory Bank.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:10 PM on May 14, 2014 [3 favorites]

This movie hit me at just the right time when it first aired and made a deep impression on me.

I hate that copyright issues made them change The Beatles' "With a Little Help From My Friends" to a cover version.
posted by fings at 7:36 PM on May 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Love this movie. Saw it when it was first broadcast and have seen it many times since. It's still one of the best adaptations of an SF novel ever done. Weirdly the scriptwriter, Diane English, later went on to create Murphy Brown.
posted by octothorpe at 8:21 PM on May 14, 2014

You know what's also good? The original book.
posted by willF at 8:58 PM on May 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

Oh wow! I saw this adaptation in seventh grade, which caused me to read the book, which caused me to get into science fiction. It's still one of my favorite stories, so thank you very much.
posted by bibliowench at 9:48 PM on May 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Lathe isn't my favorite LeGuin novel (that'd be The Left Hand of Darkness) but it is the first one I read after Earthsea hooked me all those years ago. I had completely forgotten this production existed but the first minute seems to have sparked some long dormant brain cells back into life.
posted by JaredSeth at 3:20 AM on May 15, 2014

I seem to remember LeGuin saying that Lathe was her experiment with a Philip Dick style novel but I can't find any reference to that fact online. It definitely has a lot of tropes in common with a lot of his novels.
posted by octothorpe at 5:32 AM on May 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

The Left Hand of Darkness is one of the best novels I have ever read, period.
posted by thelonius at 5:57 AM on May 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

I hate that copyright issues made them change The Beatles' "With a Little Help From My Friends" to a cover version.

I remember very vividly watching this when it was broadcast, and I remember in particular that song and what a perfect fit it was. The movie made a huge impression on me and I greedily stole large portions of it for my own worlds when I started GMing sci-fi games a few years later. I had no idea they had to change out the original song -- when was the change made? The broadcast version featured the original, didn't it? At least it does in my memory, but that was certainly a .... large number of years ago. (Sigh.)
posted by The Bellman at 6:59 AM on May 15, 2014

I saw this when it was broadcast and it made a huge impression on me. I went on to love the book, re-reading it more than just about any other novel. It's such a great story, and this production is remarkably faithful to the book.

It was thought lost for about 20 years. I saw it again after they found a copy and released it on DVD a few years ago. I was sure I'd be disappointed, but I think it totally holds up. I think this is one of the finest genuine science-fiction stories (as opposed to fantasy/action adventures set in space or the future) ever filmed, right up there with Moon, Primer, and 2001.
posted by straight at 7:31 AM on May 15, 2014

This hooked me so much when I started watching it on my laptop last night, I decided to watch the rest on my TV. Unfortunately, I had also taken a (presecibed) muscle relaxer and forgotten what weak sauce I am when it comes to pills these days.

So about half way through I started nodding off and spent the last half of the movie or so doing that thing where you're dreaming what's on the TV, which, given the content, I would not recommend. It was a pretty interesting trip though.

I'm just thankful that this thread wasn't deleted overnight or I would be a mess this morning.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:47 AM on May 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Re: A Little Help From My Friends, when I first saw this I was also reading Walter Tevis' Mockingbird, in which Sgt.Pepper also plays prominently, towards the end.

Upon re-watching, I found one scene/future prediction way off base. They're sitting in a 70s-era cafeteria, one wall lined with vending machines (a place we'd call a 'Macke Room' back in the day, as Macke, Inc was a local owner of such machines) and the protagonist muses about all this great stuff they have in the future, but "still can 't get a good cup of coffee" -- this, supposedly in the Pacific NW!

posted by Rash at 9:31 AM on May 15, 2014

The broadcast version featured the original, didn't it?

It did in 1980. The 20 year later rebroadcast had to change it to a cover version, since relicensing the Beatles version was too costly.
posted by fings at 11:14 AM on May 15, 2014

Yeah, but the good coffee timeline is the one that has no aliens. Should we trade? Who decides?
posted by straight at 11:56 AM on May 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

« Older Typography in 8 bits: System fonts   |   Timeless Beauty Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments