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Sleep Furiously (2008)

 |  Documentary  |  29 May 2009 (UK)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 285 users   Metascore: 64/100
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A poetic and profound journey into a world of endings and beginnings; a world of stuffed owls, sheep and fire.


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Set in a small farming community in mid Wales, a place where Koppel's parents - both refugees - found a home. This is a landscape and population that is changing rapidly as small scale agriculture is disappearing and the generation who inhabited a pre-mechanised world is dying out. Much influenced by his conversations with the writer Peter Handke, the film maker leads us on a poetic and profound journey into a world of endings and beginnings; a world of stuffed owls, sheep and fire. Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

29 May 2009 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Vom langsamen Leben in Wales  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


£300,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Written by 'Richard D James'
Performed by 'Aphex Twin'
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User Reviews

Two films
15 July 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

After this film I struggled to collect my thoughts, and that's because really I felt like I had been watching two films, one a banal parochial documentary about decrepit ways of living in the sticks, and the other a mannered appreciation of Welsh landscape. The film for me is a conflation, how to square on one hand seeing time lapse photography of a baby sleeping, then a pulsating tarn with a dark and bizarre copse of trees in the middle of a wasteland, and on the other senile conversations about next to nothing, too hellish for Beckett to contemplate. There's no narration so as a viewer I was left with little context.

The artist has a personal vision of a place which in my opinion he is trying to conflate into something universal to a community. His photography of an auction of farm items is beautiful and baroque, and yet to the people at the auction, that's not what they're seeing at all, they see function not form. Gideon Koppel's images feel to me like those of an outsider. Two authentic movies seem to me to jar together and produce something more confused.

There are many beautiful images in Sleep Furiously, my favourites are a time lapse of a pair of tautly billowing curtains and a piece of glistening spider web by a collapsed curtain rail. Quite what to make of the non-experimental elements is difficult, are we seeing an elegy, or is what is being lost nothing to mourn at all, a vegetable lifestyle thrown back from more religious days when folks would read The Pilgrim's Progress and conclude that the pathway to heaven was accessed via drudgery?

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