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Dreams screenplay in English

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    Vili Maunula

    I don’t know about the legality of this, but someone (I think Cinephilia & Beyond) has made a pdf copy available of the English translation of Kurosawa’s screenplay for Dreams, which you can access here.

    It’s especially interesting because it includes also the sections that never made it to the final film. In some cases like the first dream (“Flying”), it seems pretty obvious why: the “I” ends up flying amongst stars and galaxies, which probably would have cost quite a bit to render in a satisfactory manner.

    The other unfilmed dreams are “Asura”, which is probably Kurosawa’s most directly Buddhist piece (and perhaps therefore dropped from the internationally funded production), and “A Wonderful Dream”, which is quite literally a dream of world peace.

    The order of the remaining sections is also quite different than in the finished work. “A Wonderful Dream” for instance replaces “A Village of Watermills” as the last dream, moving it much earlier in the sequence.

    I first thought that this must be coming from the Akira Kurosawa Digital Archive, but on a closer look I remembered wrong as the archive doesn’t include an actual English translation of the screenplay, but a far more interesting book in which Kurosawa explains the film and his intentions somewhat, and which also includes location information and a detailed production journal, among other things. The catalogue number for that is 22.28.06.



    Thanks for the link to the “Dreams” screenplay. I think you are right about the Asura segment which most likely only the Japanese would understand. A Wonderful Dream seemed more than a bit corny, as was Flying; a very little kid’s dream.

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