Forensics of Sleep

You know what’s a little disconcerting? Seeing several cop cars, police tape and a forensics truck every day for a week when you step out or come home. I’m not scared for my life because some lowlife had the decency to get himself shot in the head across the street for me. I don’t think the neighbourhood (the city. the world!) is going to hell. I wasn’t and I won’t be afraid to step out at night. And I’m definitely not like one of those cliched in-denial people you see on the news everytime some crime happens in their neighbourhood as if nothing can ever happen there because “it’s always been such a quiet area.”

Nonetheless, a forensics truck is still something you notice each and every day. That’s the part that bugs me. A serious homicide occured outside of my front door, yet everytime I see that truck I can’t help but imagine a Canadian version of Gil Grissom digging for clues in a pool of blood. I don’t even like CSI that much. Maybe there’s something to say about media effects from all this. That the perception of reality and fantasy is being blurred by the oversaturation of fiction that we are exposed to. Maybe.

Maybe I’m thinking about it too much after seeing The Science of Sleep on Friday. Gondry’s latest film is about an inventive loser incapable of dealing with matters of love and has trouble discerning between his dreams and reality. Obviously, this dreamworld is where Gondry gets to play, meticulously creating cities out of toilet paper rolls and TV studios out of cardboard and egg holders. There are various sequences of stop motion animation, rear projection, blue screens, paint swirls, creative edits and general weirdness. This is well suited for Gondry.

The parts of the film firmly planted in reality don’t hold up quite as well. They’re charming and the acting is good, but after Eternal Sunshine it is painfully obvious that Gondry is not Charlie Kauffman. That’s an unfair comparison and it might be unrealistic to expect the same kind of script and narrative from Gondry himself, especially from his first stab at it, but that comparison to Sunshine will haunt all the reviews of this movie. Though if you’re going to be dogged with comparisons to another film, that’s as good a one as any.

The Onion gives a good summary

An indie version of Gondry’s “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” albeit with none of the star power, a quarter of the budget, half the angst, and twice the charm.

A daydreaming, inventive loser shut out on matters of love? I’d relate to the character a lot more if I looked like Gael Garcia Bernal. As it stands, I’m nothing like his character. Just white and nerdy.

Modal image