ICO Essentials: Dreams

Dir: Various


1928 - 1982

78 mins


Cinema has flirted with the fantastic since its origins, but the most potent and penetrating explorations of the unfathomable world of the unconscious can be found in artists’ work. Essentials: Dreams collects together the mythic, the nightmarish and the psychedelic to present pioneering artists’ wondrous visions, revealing cinema in all its magical intensity. Featuring celebrated and influential work by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí, Lawrence Jordan, Jan Svankmajer, and Suzan Pitt.

Programme curated by George Clark.

This title is no longer available for booking from the ICO


Un Chien Andalou

Luis Buñuel & Salvador Dali | France | 1929 | 17min

One of the seminal and most notorious films of the last century, Un Chien Andalou is the most fully realised Surrealist film.

Les Jeux des Anges

Walerian Borowczyk | France | 1964 | 13min

Based on a series of paintings by the Polish artists and filmmaker Walerian Borowczyk, Les Jeux des Anges takes the viewer into a nightmarish and sinister labyrinth world.

Meshes of the Afternoon

Maya Deren & Alexander Hammid | USA | 1943 | 13min

Maya Deren’s iconic film established the independent film movement in the USA and inspired generations of filmmakers ever since.

Dimensions of Dialogue

Jan Svankmajer | Czechoslovakia | 1982 | 13min

Svankmajer, one of cinema’s most innovative animators, created this pessimistic comment of the possibility of dialogue.


Suzan Pitt | USA | 1974-78 | 19min

This candy coloured nightmare astounded audiences upon its release where it played alongside David Lynch’s Erasurehead on the midnight movie circuit.

Our Lady of the Sphere

Lawrence Jordan | USA | 1969 | 10min

Our Lady of the Sphere is American artist Larry Jordan’s most exquisite creation. A colour collage of rococo imagery juxtaposed with symbols and imagery from antiquity to the space age.

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