Saw "The Science of Sleep"


Hey there visitors. It’s been a heckovabusy week. I’ve been battling that old battleaxe of an LDAP Server again, but this time I’ve got it beat. Little did it know that while it was limping along I built a clone of it to which i’ve slowly been exporting information. The new kid on the block is almost ready to step into the limelight, I’ve been writing tools to make administering this machine easier.

Soon comeuppance shall be had.

But due to this heckofabusy week, no thanks to the LDAP daemon from hell, I was well in the mood for some relaxation with my girl so we headed to the Alamo south and caught the late showing of The Science of Sleep starring Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal and Franco-Anglo queen of skinny legs, Charlotte Gainsbourg.

This movie is the very fantastical tale of young Stephane whose dreams interfere with his ability to live, but whose dreamlike sense of magic make those who interact with him in reality ( or were they dreams hmmm? ) lives all the more fantastic and dare I say beautiful.

It’s this sense of visual poetry, of magic, of innocence that the Francophonic directors ( I say this to include Belgians! ) do exceedingly well: Amelie, Eternal Sunshine on the Spotless Mind, etc.). Incidentally, this is also done aurally in the works of the band Air.

In any case, what’s particularly nice is that both Stephane and his neighbor Stephanie are into crafts ( she works at a stationary store, one of those beautiful raphsodic stationary stores that you only seem to find in Europe or San Francisco, the kind of pornographic sheaves of A4 paper with percentages of cardstock labeled in the endless cubbyholes, the kind where they give you genuine cotton hankercheifs wherewith to dab the ends of nibs, etc.) so their daydreams ( and Stephane’s dreams ) are made of cardboard and tempra. A car he steals is made of cardboard cutouts, a double-barreled shotgun he grabs is made of long cardboard tubes.

While whimsical, it’s for the most part quite engaging.

Many times his dreams take place with these craft-y elements in stop-motion animated realms, think Peter Gabriel’s astounding “Sledgehammer” video from yesteryear.

Charlotte Gainsbourg is outstanding and I love the way she acts. I also like that she, visually, has a real-ness about her. In one scene she’s off to take her vaiselle to the laundromat in jeans and a cozy sweater: I have no issue whatsoever imagining that instead of YSL she knows how to do these things herself. I love that reality about her.

The only complaint I really had is that at times the whole fantasy world schtick got in the way of progressing the plot a little bit. Sometimes I was thinking, oh, bloody heck, let’s have the world stay the normal world so that we can see some basic reality here….but I suppose that may have also been an effect of it getting rather late and me being a bit tired.