The stuff that dreams are made of
By Rosie Scott
University of Queensland Press, 1995. 152pp
Reviewed by Alex Bainbridge
Movie Dreams is the story of Adan Loney, a young person who finds the world a very confusing place. Not only is school boring and irrelevant, and his mother and sister mad, but Adan is also in trouble with the local "skins" over a drug deal, and his friend Lee has committed suicide.
Adan views everything around him through the films that he's seen and the movie world he imagines in his head. Everyone knows that Adan has the ability to go to film school and build a successful career as a movie producer. Indeed, that's what he'd always wanted. However, somehow his picture-film view of the world seems to get in the way.
Adan tries to come to grips with the loss of his father. His father went to film school, but "shot through" when his mother was pregnant. Adan can't let go of the dream that his father will turn up some day, a successful director of alternative films — someone cool, who you can trust. However, even Adan knows that it is much more likely that "he was a bum on Hollywood Boulevard".
So Adan decides to leave home and travel north from Brisbane. Throughout, the movie world in Adan's head is a complex, shifting mix between denial and attempted understanding of the world around him. This continual dilemma seems strikingly apt given the alienation experienced by broad layers of young people, reinforced (and certainly not challenged) by the increasingly predominant mainstream electronic media.
Adan's voyage of discovery includes encounters with sexuality, youth suicide, drugs and homosexuality. While it can't really be said that these issues are subjected to penetrating analysis, they are dealt with in a passionate and human way. Movie Dreams is written entirely as Adan's stream of consciousness. Scott has skilfully planted herself on the wavelength of this young adolescent male, making for an absorbing and interesting story.