Slumberous (2018) Poster

(2018)

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A complex and visceral experience
feelthereelff11 May 2018
"Slumberous" deals with a very important thing that becomes problematic if not taken care of properly: the mind. The plot is simple: a girl is alone in a house, but that's the tip of the iceberg, as she feels trapped in her own mind, a mind that is exceedingly noisy in a quiet environment. Her inner struggle is extremely poetic, and we could find close connections to Jean Michel Basquiat's art in the noise that comes from deep silence. In Basquiat's art, the paintings are 'mute', but they are as noisy as Times Square on a traffic jam. Well, the same law is applicable here - the girl lives in total silence, but her mind is troubled by the inner noise. At first, she feels like her hamster is the one driving her crazy, but after watching this movie we all can agree it's not that specific external factor that is making her unstable.

This kind of inner disturbance is amazingly powerful in art and it is the basis of many of the postmodern creations people nowadays appreciate. At first, we wanted to consider "Slumberous" as an experimental video, something that has that inner meaning not in the narrative, but exactly in the absence of the narrative. It's a good thing we didn't because the narrative here speaks more than thousands of words director Sara Eustaquio could have fit in her film. Anxiety plays an important role here, and we can consider it as being the engine that moves the whole plot in a sort of unexpected dance that keeps the viewer engaged. It's not easy to create a film, be it experimental or not, with only one character that can fill the blanks. Fortunately, Eustaquio did a good job in inserting anxiety as a supporting character, and even at some points managing to put it in the spotlight.

"Slumberous" can be perceived more as a complex, visceral experience than a short drama... and this is what we liked the most about it.

Feel The Reel International Film Festival
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A very interesting cinematographical approach
When you approach a film made by a very young filmmaker you usually don't expect to see an experimental film. This is because young filmmakers tend to be in a hurry to tell people how good they are or how they deserve a good career, so usually they try to make movies about big issues and they try to say too much. "Slumbered" is a short movie made by a 18 year old portuguese director that shows instead a very interesting cinematographical approach. The plot is very simple and straightforward but what intrigued us the most was the style with which the film has been directed. The use of the handycam that mimics the presence of a dark, haunting presence that follows the protagonist around her house is a choice that shows a will to experiment and play with all the possibilities offered by cinema. Its a strong stylistic choice that transforms the fiction experience in an act of observation. We ourselves, as spectators, become the haunting presence that drives the protagonist crazy. This style and structure eliminates the cliché of horror and thriller movies transforming this short film in an act of representation of a paranoid, maniac condition. Being a student project, we really enjoy watching the best thing that a student can show: the process of learning through ideas of experimentation. This young director shows us that has all the prerogatives to find a personal, effective way of filming and creating her own world.

Rome Independent Prisma Awards
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Subtly portrait of how someone with schizophrenia is trying to live a normal life: a very commendable work
utahfilmfestivalawards22 April 2018
Hearing the title, "Slumberous", I thought that it was about someone who can't stop herself from sleeping too much because of lethargy or someone who gets killed in her sleep. So, when I watched it and found out that it was actually about a woman who is having so much trouble sleeping, I thought, 'Woah, this film is such a paradox.' That really caught my attention.

I think this film subtly describes how someone with schizophrenia is trying to live a normal life. Unfortunately, her thoughts make her feel alone and trapped. She is doing her best just to stop the voices in her head. Inevitably, her restlessness has made her do unimaginable things. But as someone who is only watching her struggle, are we really one to judge if whether or not has she gone too far?

The film started with an eerie mood and setting. It has given me the chills to my bones. Even the camera shots are done in a way that makes me somehow anticipate a scare like someone will show up while the woman wasn't looking. I'd like to specify that the trampoline scene and the scene's dark or limited lighting were a good addition to the mystery in the film. This repeated element made me wonder about the mental state of the protagonist and worry about why she hasn't been sleeping as she is clearly stressed out.

Even the short and limited dialogue in this film is also very mysterious and has greatly contributed to the goal of the film to make the viewers hooked by making us wonder what is really wrong with the protagonist. The musical score is chilling and thrilling enough. For me, the musical director of this film is awesome. While watching the film, I was always looking out for a shocker that might make my heart skip a beat.

The way that the ending dialogue was left hanging was so gripping that I think I'm going to have trouble sleeping the night after I watched the film. (Haha!) The overall cinematography and screenplay of the film were ideal. I really loved the plot and the twist of the story. In just a few minutes, the storyline was well-established with an interesting ending. All the other elements in the film worked well together. The title, the film's introduction, the problem and the ending of the film are all catchy and well-thought of. This film is a very commendable work of the writer/s, director, and everyone in the crew.

There are, actually, a few reminders that I was able to catch from the film. First off, that this is what it's like for some people with mental illness. They will try to reach out by making late night phone calls but they wouldn't be able to completely share or convey what they are struggling with because they are afraid of being judged and/or ridiculed. So, if you know someone like that, just be patient, understanding, and empathetic towards that person.

Overall, "Slumberous" is a very well made film and I highly recommend watching the film when it comes to a festival near you!

Utah Film Festival and Awards
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