The Science of Sleep (2006), Directed by Michel Gondry.
Either you get into a film since the first shot, or you slowly slip into the lives of the characters as it progresses, or sometimes no matter how hard you try the film completely eludes you. The science of cinema is much like the science of sleep. Not surprisingly people have such divergent experiences even when they have watched the same story unfold on the big screen. Though what is surprising is how everyone is such an involved and passionate critic when it comes to films but has so little to say about the events in ‘real’ life. However, I digress.
It is not yet time for bed. Tom Waits playing in the background sings,
When I'm lyin' in my bed at night
I don't wanna grow up
Nothin' ever seems to turn out right
I don't wanna grow up
And then after a few more songs he starts to say,
but you're innocent when you dream
when you dream
you're innocent when you dream
But again I digress.
As adolescents we’d stay up well through the night because life was short and sleeping was a waste of time. But then we also believed that we could grow up to become almost anyone we wanted. And the story of our adulthood would be dominated by only one character – the almighty me.
However, now as thirty somethings there is nothing we look forward to more than sleep time. In fact, we are often reluctant to wake up to face another day in the life. For in dreams lies our real world.
At last coming to the film in question – what is there not to love about this whimsical (you say, write genius) film about Stéphane meeting Stephanie and (we all) meeting his world of dreams? As the boundary between dreams and reality blurs, how does one distinguish between the two? They say in our dreams the ‘impossible becomes possible’. But who is to say what is impossible to begin with?
People may either dream about a plane not taking off or of a dead relative gifting them a ruby ring. Similarly there are many ways of ‘seeing’ this film. Best to let our imagination and creativity make sense of our dreams and reality.
I'm exhausted, I'm gonna wake up now.
(On cinema part 3)