3 December 2012 6:00 AM, PST | Underground Film Journal | See recent Underground Film Journal news »

In the classic underground movie book Visionary Film, historian P. Adams Sitney coined the term “trance film” to describe the primary type of post-wwii avant-garde cinema that was in vogue at the time. In Sitney’s view, short movies such as Maya Deren‘s Meshes of the Afternoon, Kenneth Anger‘s Fireworks and Stan Brakhage‘s Flesh of Morning all feature somnambulist protagonists wandering through surrealist nightmare worlds of their own psyche.

Movies featuring sleepwalking main characters are, of course, the antithesis of popular mainstream entertainment, which at all times attempts to thrill the masses with tales of heroes of extraordinary abilities doing amazing things.

Flash forward about 70 years and Don Swaynos‘ debut feature film, the surrealist comedy Pictures of Superheroes, doesn’t quite fit Sitney’s “trance” mold, but it’s main character, professional cleaning woman Marie (Kerri Lendo), does appear to be sleepwalking through her life. The film »

- Mike Everleth

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