Collective: Unconscious

Collection of five shorts based on the filmmakers' dreams.


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  • ★★★★½ review by Martin Jensen on Letterboxd

    Collective:Unconscious is the rare anthology film where each segment is equally strong. Held together by dream logic, it connects universal, primal fears (loneliness, social humiliation, motherhood, death) and familiar forms (black and white 'art film', music video, teen drama, '90s game show, horror film) with the bizarrely specific details personal to each dreamer/director. At the same time, we don't dream in a vacuum; across all the segments there are undercurrents and sometimes overtones of social critique along gender and racial lines. It is a wholly unnerving, disturbing, even profound insight into the subconscious, an experiment I hope will be repeated.

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  • ★★★★ review by Sean Hillary on Letterboxd

    MDFF 2016

    Saw this again, such a great experience. Eager to return to it more and more. Might be my favorite of the fest...

  • ★★★★½ review by Zoë on Letterboxd

    the only thing I disliked was the parts between each story, the wrap around? I guess? w/ the 'hypnotist'. loved it otherwise. The 3rd was my personal fave.

  • ★★★½ review by Jason Coffman on Letterboxd

    Part of my 2016 honorable mentions, special recognition, & favorite documentaries:

    General consensus seems to be that listening to someone talking about their dreams is insanely boring. I personally find dreams endlessly fascinating — I love talking to people about their weird dreams. So the concept behind Collective: Unconscious was tailor-made for me: five filmmakers wrote statements based on dreams they had, and then all traded them amongst each other to adapt into a short film for this anthology feature. The results are really interesting and unsurprisingly wildly disparate in form and content. They’re creepy, funny, uncomfortable, and often all of those things simultaneously. Your tolerance for indecipherable weirdness will probably largely dictate whether or not you’ll be able to sit through this, but I’d love to see it become a regular thing with a new round of filmmakers every year.

  • ★★★★½ review by ianjcunningham on Letterboxd

    dreams are everything to me, so this cinematic effort is especially close to my heart

    a frequent criticism of inception was that it didn't feel dream-like enough, or that it didn't fully take advantage of the scope of dreams and their surreal nature

    which is absurd, as everybody dreams differently

    (as this film demonstrates so vividly)

    the tone of each dream is so distinct, and realized so fully

    i'll need to re-watch this, but upon a first viewing, i must say i love the concept, and would be very open to these filmmakers doing this again (perhaps with nightmares? although some of this is arguably quite nightmarish)

    man, i freaking love that middle dream

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