I just read the first chapter from Murch, “Don’t Worry, It’s Only a Movie”. I disagreed with his assertion that cuts in a film work because they’re similar to how we dream. Dreams are fueled by emotion and  memories associated with those emotions. I don’t think of dream as having cuts, but rather a continuous oddity that only makes sense after the fact. Dreams are almost a rationalization of the emotions…the dreams are constructed so that the flow emotions and feelings make sense. In dreams, emotion creates imagery whereas in film, imagery creates emotion. I believe a BBC documentary about dreams led me to believe  all that…but you should probably just believe me so I can look smart.

On the other hand, if our dreams really do include cuts, couldn’t that be because we have learned the language of films as we’ve grown up with them and incorporated the cuts into our dreams? Yes.

Anyway, I was glad to see that he switched to saccadic movement because that’s what I was thinking about as I read the dream stuff (I hope I’m not coming off as being smug here…but I have work published related to saccadic eye movement…soooooo yeah…).  A few weeks ago, I saw another BBC special about saccadic movement on Bruce Hood’s blog. It might make the phenomenon more clear if you’re unfamiliar:

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