Nobody, not even Aunt Em, wants to hear about Dorothy’s dream when she wakes up at the end of The Wizard of Oz. As outright fantasy the journey to Oz is peerless, joyous, muscular with truth; to call it a dream (a low trick L. Frank Baum, who wrote the original story, never stooped to) is to demean it, to deny it, to lie; because nobody has dreams like that. Nobody has dreams like the dreams in Spellbound, either; or like those in Little Nemo in Slumberland, Alice in Wonderland, Inception...Here's that scene in Living in Oblivion. (Shorter clip here. Buy the whole movie here. It's really good.)
If art is a mirror, dreams are the back of the head. A work of art derives its effects from light, sound, and movement, but dreams unfurl in darkness, silence, paralysis. Like a recipe attempted in an ill-provisioned kitchen, “dreamlike” art relies on substitutions: dutch angles, forced perspective, absurdist juxtapositions, arbitrary transformations, and, as Peter Dinklage’s character points out in the film Living in Oblivion, a lamentable superabundance of dwarfs.
I feel like I should make some wisecrack of that book written by the now-President of the United States, "Dreams From My Father." Who just signed that "Dream" law. Dreams figure big in political speech, for a few reasons.