Dreams from a Planet in Peril is a new experimental art film by writer/director Lee Roscoe and filmmaker/producer Janet Murphy Robertson. The action unfolds as a series of intense dreams in which the female protagonist—a passionate environmentalist—witnesses the progressive destruction of the Earth and its underlying causes and consequences. She ultimately awakens and confronts the perpetrators within the fourth dream itself. This last portion of the movie—also distributed as a short film titled The Warning—had its New York premiere at the prestigious Chelsea Film Festival in October 2022 and was a finalist for three additional awards at the Independent Film Shorts Awards in LA.
Just as in an ordinary night of dreams, the film’s “plot,” visuals, and language change completely as the action unfolds and literal realism is rare. Earth’s peril comes to life at different points as hyperbole, humor, satire, or melodrama and with all the variety, confusion, emotional range, and fragmentation of the dreamworld itself. In the first dream—Water Spirits Colloquy—two Greek demigods and a legendary Native American spirit meet to share their torment over the ravaging of Earth’s waters by humans and eventually conspire to exact revenge. They interact amidst spectacular underwater and terrestrial imagery and in scenes of environmental destruction that build to a dramatic ending. In The Cage, an owl watches as three characters argue, with a mixture of stunning insight and staggering myopia, in a fast-paced mini class war that highlights societal conflicts impeding change. In Reprieve, an indigenous man in despair over the demise of his culture and the Earth is saved by the common decency of people he barely knows. The Warning brings the film to its stunning conclusion as the nameless slumbering woman is propelled by her dreams into a cartoon world so outrageously destructive to the planet that she steps into the dream and attempts to stop the madness.
In addition to Roscoe, the cast includes nine other beloved Massachusetts-based actors: Tom Wolfson, Judith Partelow (courtesy of SAG), Rod Owens, Karen McPherson, Constance Wilkinson, Cleo Zani, Geof Newton, Olivia Thompson, and LeVane Harrington.
DREAMS FROM A PLANET IN PERIL is supported in part by grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council (Towns of Brewster and Dennis).
We are currently in the process of releasing the entire film, DREAMS FROM A PLANET IN PERIL. A regional premiere of the film took place at the Cape Cod Museum of Art on March 31, and audience response was enthusiastic. Comments from this screening, and earlier presentations of the individual shorts, can be found under "Audience Response" above or here. As they are scheduled, additional screenings of the film will be listed under "Screenings" above or here.