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The Edge of Dreaming

" ... an intelligent woman with an open mind and heart who embarked on a serious metaphysical quest." -- Stephen Holden, The New York Times, February 15, 2011

Read The Wall Street Journal review here!

Science filmmaker Amy Hardie dreams of the death of her horse only to wake and find him dead.  She attempts to ignore the coincidence.  But, later, a week before her 48th birthday, she has another dream.  Her late partner, the father of her first child, tells her she will die within the year.  She then embarks on a journey that takes her to a neuroscientist, a shaman, and the gritty realism of a hospital bed.  The Edge of Dreaming tells the story of Amy Hardie in what could be the final year of her life. There will be nine screenings throughout the month of February beginning February 16.  $12/10.80 for Members  Special dream workshops follow the day after the screenings. $75/$67.50

Dreaming Workshop with Amy Hardie

Workshop Description
The film has a lot of space for the audience to bring in their own perspective and this workshop is an opportunity to bring your own experiences to the understanding gained through the film. There are a maximum of twelve places for people to take part in this 2 hour workshop the day after the screening. You will work as a group, and in pairs, with  your own dreams, fears and life experience. It is also an opportunity to learn and use the traditional Celtic bardos and trace their parallels with cutting edge neuroscience. The Celtic bardos are traditional knowledge handed down orally from the anam cara- the person in the Gaelic tradition who is entrusted to watch with the dying, to comfort them on their last days of living, reflecting on their life, and preparing them for the 'bardos' or stages of their journey through death. $75/67.50 for Members
About the workshop
Cinema has become the storytelling of our time. Powerful images and sound compress time through editing: sequences that could not be shown during the last 60,000 years (except in our dreams) have, for the last 100 years been increasingly ubiquitous on our television, computer and cinema screens. The rapidity of the change is breath-taking, and it is unlikely that cinema has stopped developing as the pre-eminent 'storytelling' of our age.

However, in one aspect cinematic story telling has lost power. Cinema is not live. Its stories are no longer created by an individual in front of an audience. Cinema comprises of pixilations projected by light, and when the end credits roll, the audience is left alone. There is no storyteller left in the room. There is no longer a person to engage with the audience's response to the film, or, perhaps even more importantly, to engage with the audiences's own experiences that have been brought to mind through the film.

In this workshop filmmaker Amy Hardie devises a development of the cinema experience: Instead of cinema-going as an essentially passive and private experience, Hardie brings back what has been lost as storytelling has become mechanized. This workshop gives the audience a profound engagement with the film, an interaction that is active and articulated and done in community. It is about articulating a creative response, opening up a place for people to bring their own experiences to the film and to build on their interpretation.

"My experience of watching this film was profound. There was a depth created through the simple story - perhaps through the range of the film, from the everydayness of life with kids, to the scientific explanations of dreams, to the mystery beyond dreams, life itself. Because of the spaciousness in the film, the poetry in the images, I found myself more and more drawn into the film. There was space for me.

In an odd way I was perhaps even more aware than usual that I was watching a screen. The screen was playing out something about me. I was drawn into a participatory role, actively witnessing and engaging with themes and issues that are both universal and deeply mine.

What Amy then offered felt profoundly new. Not only did she make a film that had a big effect just by watching it, but by having a talk and 2hr workshop the next day, I was able to ground my engagement. I had a very profound experience in the workshop. Two days on, I am still in the midst of transformation. Some of the answers I and others in the audience found and expressed in an open forum made this experience a completely different paradigm of cinema." -
Kathy White

A documentary director/producer with several international awards, Amy Hardie graduated from the National Film and Television School with the BP Expo award for best UK graduation film. She set up the Scottish Documentary Institute in 2004 with Noe Mendelle, and Docspace, dedicated to increasing an audience for serious documentaries.  Recent work has focussed on collaborations with leading scientists to explore stem cell technology. The Edge of Dreaming is her first personal film.

Amy Hardie's appearance in Brainwave is made possible with the support of the British Council.

BRAINWAVE 2011 is made possible by generous support from MetLife Foundation.

 New York Times Community Affairs is the official media sponsor of Brainwave