O Dreamland

O Dreamland is a very personal look at a fun-fair – Dreamland in Margate- on a rather wet summer day. Beginning with a close-up of a chauffeur cleaning a Rolls Royce, the shot opens up on to the street beyond, and then cuts to other streets, with crowds walking towards the funfair. Hardly ever is one allowed an establishing shot to secure a point of view. Immediately the film cuts to a laughing dummy policeman, whose heinous cackle has already been heard over shots of crowds, typical of the sound-image disjunction Anderson uses throughout the film. Slowly we are taken through all the horrors of torture over the centuries, images of plastic or plaster-of-Paris models in various poses of agony intercut with the faces of onlookers, strangely impassive. As the film moves on around the fair, past the bingo halls, the pinball machines and slot machines, the laughter of the policeman returns over the images.


John Fletcher

2nd Festival on Wheels