• The Science of Sleep (2006)

    Written and Directed by:
    Michel Gondry.

    Starring: Gael Garca Bernal, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Miou-Miou.

    The Story: The hero is a Spanish/French chappie who is absolutely incapable of separating his dreams and daydreams from reality (and probably took a LOT of drugs in his youth). He has returned to France, at the request of his mother, after being abroad for several years, only to find the job he was promised as a designer/artist is actually mindless copy/pasting for a crappy calendar company.

    OK, so the movie is 5 years old, but it's foreign language and very arthouse, so I suspect many people haven't seen it. It is a French-made movie, but the hero has been in Spain for quite a few years, so his French is pretty bad and quite funny - he prefers to speak either Spanish or English - so the movie is effectively tri-lingual, and has a fair amount of subtitles (lots of reading - you won't like it, Stu).

    There is not much story line in the film, as it relies chiefly on the brilliant acting (the entire cast is absolutely outstanding) and the visual effects of the hero's imagination and dreams (there is a lot of stop-motion and collage in the movie - not CGI). It is brilliantly written, and absolutely mind-boggling. The direction is such that, as a viewer, you also struggle to differentiate between the hero's dreams and reality and so are constantly wondering whether what is unfolding is the real world punctuated by his imagination, or a dream. Obvously, the hero's inability to tell whether what is happening at any given time is all in his head or not leads to some classically funny moments, and Gael Garca Bernal's comic timing makes the situational comedy even better. Alain Chabat's cameo as 'Guy' had me laughing out loud - a rare thing in movies/series.

    The art direction in the movie is also outstanding. The sets for Bernal's imagination/dream sequences are very low budget, but choose to glorify in that aspect rather than making pretences. A lot of the backdrop and props are constructed from corrugated cardboard, egg boxes and toilet rolls. The effect of this is that it lends a very childish aspect to Bernal's imagination, and since he plays the character as very immature, it all ties in to give the film the feel that you are watching the world through a child's eyes.

    Overall, it is a simple movie, but absolutely hi-fuckin-larious. I laughed at nearly every scene and enjoyed every minute. My only regret is that I didn't smoke some Jules-strength d00b/drop some acid before watching, as the hallucination scenes are very obviously the result of a mind that has seen a large quantity of narcotics. It would be worth counting how many times you find yourself cackling with laughter at the same time as asking yourself 'wtf???!!'

    Overall, an 8 out of 10 on the Paul Scale of Fuck-Yeah.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: The Science of Sleep (2006) started by s3xy_j0nny View original post

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