"Sleeper talent in indie film"

Two local filmmakers create a zesty independent movie in a brand-new film format

Review: Sleep Always. 4 1/2 stars (out of 5)

by Ryan Burt. The Independent Weekly October 3, 2002 page 6

Made very independently by local filmmakers Palidwor and Perkins, Sleep Always screened last weekend at Hart House. Although afraid to be bored out of my tree, I nonetheless acted on my curiosity and headed straight for Hart House Circle.

My apprehensions were quietly killed off while watching this little gem.

Urgency is the word that best describes what I think is lacking in our national and local film scenes. There is no doubt in my mind that most of our filmmakers are intellectuals who treat film as a very cerebral medium. Thus, I never have to worry about a Battleship Earth poppping up from Parkdale.

But after viewing a lot of work - student and big name alike, I confess of tiring of comatose actors, overtly depressing plotlines and repetitive sexuality themes.

As much as I dislike commercial cinema and Hollywood, I always thought a truly great Canadian filmmaker would incorporate some of the best cinema stylings like U.S. film noir or French lyricism with his/her own indiginous aesthetics to create a truly appealing film. This comination could give some home-grown films more urgency and zest.

Sleep Always has urgency.

The film is the story of Frank, a distured jazz saxophonist, and his obession with the strange and happily homeless Nada.

Over the course of the film, Frank's life slowly deteriorates as Nada frequently vanishes from him without a trace.

On top of that Frank is constantly harassed about Nada's periodic squatting by his creepy, mentally unbalanced neighbour next door.

His troubled psyche is examined with the aid of multiple camera speeds and quick-on-the-draw montage editing.

Aided by the clarity of the film stock itself, the film's mood shifts with ease. One minute the viewer is in a coolly lit downtown bar with all the proper colour tones; the next in a sterile, claustrophobic apartment with dusty floors and too many white walls.

Before the film is over, we are reminded of all the potential peaks and valleys a doomed love affair can have.

Palidwor and Perkins understand the range of filmic options they have on their pallette and chose to use them freely and spontaneously.

In fact, in addition to an attractive cast, and an impressive soundtrack, Sleep Always boasts a new film medium. Perkins developed Super-duper 8 film stock while working at Exclusive Film and Video.

Although the storyline gets convoluted at times and the acting often leaves more to be desired, the film's overall delivery is constantly potent and memorable.

I have no idea when, if ever, this will be shown again publicy.

But as a film snob of the hightest order, I can suggest only two things: see this film and get inspired.

Copyright ©2002 Friendly Fire Films, All Rights Reserved.

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