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Chasing Sleep is more of an artistic endeavour through symbolism rather than a straightforward story. The average audience would find this film pointless and boring, though if one were to be open minded to its abstract ideas, they would find a deeply disturbing and interesting exploration into a character, and the study there of. The symbolic names add to the themes: George SIMIAN
relating to the primitive actions which the character embarks in, like
an ape. Ed SAXON - relating to the evolved society, as in the character resorting to much less physical action.
Statments of societal conflicts are more represented than spoonfed to the audience. Though Ed is more advanced in his projection of self, he resorts to the advancements of man (the pills) to drown his worries, due to his wife's infidelities. The surreal scenes are paramount to tuning the audience in on the character's paranoia and past actions.
The sparse dialogue is often Kubrickian, and the dark imagery is somewhat Lynchian, while the story is quite Poe-esque (it seems to borrow a bit from The Tell Tale Heart). The slow disintigration of the house represents the character's disintigration of mind, his paranoia and conscience are eating away at him, because he is not a murderer or malicious man. But it also works on different levels where as it hints at the idea that his wife was murdered in the house itself and buried inside the walls - which also represents the burying of these memories in Ed's mind. If one would pay close attention to every action in the film, one would be able to decipher the actual story unveiling in reality while the character is drenched in his surreal world.
This film is abstract, and subjective in it's intention to involve the audience more than entertain. Perhaps some character's only exist in Ed's mind. It is for the audience to decide. While a film maker has the creative freedom to project their own ideas into something, they also must give enough for the audience to use their own imagination to create what happens according to them. Chasing Sleep gives the audience the power to use (like reading a book) rather than just be lost in some spoonfeeding frenzy.
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