DVD The Science of Sleep (DVD 573491),
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The Science of Sleep
Region 1 USA/CA (
For his first non-documentary film after 2004's ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND, French writer/director Michel Gondry applies his highly inventive cinematic vision to THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP. Largely set in the very active subconscious mind of Stephane (Gael Garcia Bernal), the movie bounces back and forth between his vivid dreams and mundane real life, which involves living in a Parisian apartment owned by his mother (Miou-Miou) and working at an office with a strange crew of characters, including the crass Guy (Alain Chabat). When Stephane meets Stephanie, a shy neighbor from next door (played by Charlotte Gainsbourg, the daughter of Gallic crooner Serge Gainsbourg and British singer/actress Jane Birkin), the two form an unusual friendship, one that may or may not lead to romance.
Even more than ETERNAL SUNSHINE, THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP is marked by Gondry's whimsical-yet-melancholy aesthetic (honed working on videos by Bjork, the White Stripes, and others), which makes heavy use of stop-motion animation and other playful visual tricks. While the former film was rooted in its American setting (Long Island, NY), SLEEP is a thoroughly European affair steeped in its French setting, with the eccentric Stephane (a transplant from Mexico) alternating between speaking (and even dreaming) in English, French, and Spanish. Although its occasionally over-the-top quirkiness may baffle some viewers, SLEEP's unpredictable and engagingly odd sense of storytelling is sure to intrigue fans of other indie classics such as AMELIE and PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE.
- for language, some sexual content and nudity.
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 113774
Gael,Garcia Bernal,Charlotte Gainsbourg,Sylvette Herry,Alain Chabat,Pierre Vaneck,Sacha Bourdo
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "[With] a lot of really amazing-looking stuff....Visually exhilarating."
3 stars out of 5 -- "Untethered by logic, fired by fantasy, Gondry floats freely between the banal and the fanciful."
"[W]hat a dazzling display. Using stop-motion animation, over-and under-cranked live-action sequences, model and puppetry work, and backwards-run footage, the film is a glorious catalogue of techniques..."
Sight and Sound
3 stars out of 5 -- "Gondry's hallucinatory brilliance holds you in thrall."
"[B]eguiling....[The film has] a wide-eyed picture-book quality....It is undoubtedly -- and deeply -- refreshing."
New York Times
"THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP is like a weird dream that tugs at the memory throughout the day with its intriguing misshapen pieces." -- Grade: B-
4 stars out of 5 -- "Gondry displays all the imaginative flourishes he used in his Bjork vids..."
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