Friday, 20 June 2008

EIFF: sleep furiously - Review by Guest Contributor Maria Antonia Velez

Director: Gideon Koppel
Running Time: 94 mins
Sun 22 Jun, 14:20
Cineworld 6

Apart from being inconveniently spelt in all lower case, there is nothing unconventional about sleep furiously, a well-meaning but meandering documentary about the rural community of Trefeurig in Wales. Given that director Gideon Koppel's previous experience has visited the fashion world and plastic arts, it is not surprising that his camera lingers on texture and craftsmanship. However, his devout close-ups of hands also reveal shyness; the film suffers from being too discreet. Although it is indebted to contemporary French documentaries like Etre et avoir (with which it shares a producer), it lacks the latter film's lucid organization of footage. In other words, sleep furiously is wonderfully phenomenological; but what is the point being made by a long, long take of a border collie watching a truck drive away? The sound mix constructs a haunting intimacy where voices are heard up close even on general views; but the music endows the landscape with a bogus solemnity. In short, this respectful, loving documentary is weighed down by its own reverence.

No comments: