In An Empty dream, a man sees a gorgeous woman at the dentist. After an anaesthetic, he falls into the world of dreams…
#1 IT’S ALL JUST A DREAM?
This might not have an important budget, but the film tries hard to deliver an interesting, original & atmospheric experience (influenced by German Expressionism).
The world of dreams & fantasies appears through weirdly shaped studio sets, where objects are hanging in the air, where people are like soulless puppets, where characters can suddenly change or disappear.
In other words, everything becomes possible, using simple movie tricks, with a little bit of inspiration.
#2 THE ART OF SYMBOLISM
Besides this surrealist world, the makes an extensive use of symbols and metaphors–it’s not always subtle, and it can also be too much.
It mostly takes advantage of the editing possibilities, adding symbolic shots right in the middle of an action, to fully reflect what’s really at stake–an industrial foray appears when the character is getting treated by the dentist.
At the same time, the film contains many sexual references, with close-ups on certain details–like the mouth of a woman spitting a somewhat milky liquid. It’s not openly erotic– you see won’t see much of a woman’s flesh–but suggestions are everywhere.
Surprise! An empty dream is the South Korean remake of the Japanese erotic film Daydream, directed a year before—watch the trailer below! It’s pretty interesting to notice the main differences between these two versions.
Although the Korean film ‘borrows’ many shots from the original, it ‘physically’ recreates the world of dreams, through original sets as mentioned before—the Japanese film explores purely cinematic elements to create the fantasies, like B/W contrast, use of colors, sharp editing, framing…
The remake also tends to underline most of the erotic metaphors—one can guess the Korean society wasn’t that opened to that kind of films at the time—, and on the technical level, this version clearly looks cheaper—hard to beat the Japanese craftsmanship.
AKA Chunmong, 춘몽