The cinema substitutes for our gaze a world more in harmony with our desires.
— André Bazin

"Water Serpents II" - Gustav Klimt: c. 1907

A Flash of Light

About a year ago, I received a beautiful gift from a dear friend: Gustav Klimt, A Book of Post Cards. Klimt has always been a favorite of mine because he is a beautiful paradox: he left behind a legacy that is both vivid and divine, revealing so much of his own personal desires, yet there is very little known about Klimt himself.

One night, I was absorbed in one print, breaking down every intimate detail, from the colors and texture, to the weight and emotional gravitas, to the cross-stitch of sensuality and pain... And in that moment, it hit me: What drives an artist to stretch their humanity? What moves them to interpret the world in such a unique way? These questions inspired me to conduct an artistic experiment...

I took a piece of chalk and began to draw aimlessly.  It wasn’t long before I realized that with each stroke, I was struggling to find a purpose. Then, as I closed my eyes, my drawing suddenly took on more form, more urgency, more intention. As I opened my eyes, I saw what I had created. “What if...” I thought, “What if a painter was blind?” Like a flash of lightning, a vision of my lead character, Daniel, came to me.  Instinctually, I knew I'd have to bless him with the holy gift of blindness; to process the world in a different way, with all he had at stake for his art and his own humanity.

The Story

Actor Stefano Da Frè as "Daniel"

Le Rêve Secret opens with Daniel awaking from a recurring dream about a mysterious woman. Immediately, we see the pain and suffering he experiences as he desperately tries to grab hold of this image. His solitude is the only thing he can call a friend as he goes about his mundane routine: there is life all around him, but he doesn’t feel connected to any of it. One night, Daniel slips into delirium after struggling to render even a single brushstroke on a blank canvas. Daniel’s world is on the verge of collapse… until his dream muse appears to him.  What happens after is a journey that is grounded in the universal thread of renewal, hope, and love.

What makes Le Rêve Secret familiar and relevant is that ultimately, it’s a story of self-redemption.  Daniel’s struggle is so specific yet it speaks volumes to everyone. How do we cope with our own limitations? Do we allow them to defeat us or motivate us? What are we willing to risk in love and in life?  These are all questions we reflect on at one time or another. 

Sometimes, we must abandon the life we know in order to embrace the life we desire.

And with that, I give you Le Rêve Secret.