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Sleep Furiously (2008)

 |  Documentary  |  29 May 2009 (UK)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 281 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 8 user | 36 critic | 8 from Metacritic.com

A poetic and profound journey into a world of endings and beginnings; a world of stuffed owls, sheep and fire.

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Title: Sleep Furiously (2008)

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Director: Gideon Koppel
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Storyline

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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Documentary

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Release Date:

29 May 2009 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Vom langsamen Leben in Wales  »

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Budget:

£300,000 (estimated)
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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Avril 14th
Written by 'Richard D James'
Performed by 'Aphex Twin'
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User Reviews

 
Meditation & reflection can't be hurried . . .
21 June 2009 | by (nr Liverpool, England.) – See all my reviews

I loved this film - I loved the slow pace of it, the meditative quality, the way it reflected the quieter slower rate at which village & agricultural life turns.

The space & time devoted to "little happening" was perfect for me - especially when it was showing the beauty of the Welsh landscape.

The simplicity & honesty of the tales, allowed to naturally come across was beautiful & reminded me of David Lynch's "Straight Story".

The way that the village, community & the surrounding agriculture seemed ancient, only moving with the seasons was deftly shown. Poignantly, simultaneously the film also showed it was worryingly at imminent risk of losing some of its essential aspects.

If you can't sit still for 5 minutes & enjoy a setting sun, running river or rolling hillside, if you can't remain quiet & enjoy the silence, then this film's probably not for you. I'm afraid there isn't even a single car chase (only a brief sheep chase).

For everyone else, turn down the revs & sink into this low-key masterpiece. ______________

Update after Celia's comments - I don't understand why everything needs to have some perfectly realised & resolved answer - life's not like this, sometimes we never find out what happens, and sometimes our lives are simply enriched by inexplicable yet beautiful things (like this film).

This is the sort of film that is a soft target for accusations of "pretension" (or Celia's "Emperor's New Clothes") but there really is no pretence/pretension that this is going to be a normal A->B->C narrative, it's just not what it is. It's broadly filmed as documentary, but not a prescriptive one. What it is to me at least is a beautifully shot vignette, with snapshots, snippets & moments of many lives and stories, none of which does it try to fully provide a resolution.

Yes I've got questions I'd like answered (my friend wondered did the librarian ever use the laptop for anything more than a place to stamp the books?) but I don't expect to get the answers from the film itself, and that's OK by me.

The closest thing I've seen to it is the Patrick Keiller masterpieces "London" & "Robinson In Space" yet they are scripted, narrated & very thought out mixing esoteric elements of art, history, poetry, economics trivia and wit, all together again with great photography. The simpler more natural (no commentary, no sign of a behind-camera interviewer) version perhaps makes for a less focused film, but also one I just allowed myself to go with its slow, winding, meditative pace.


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