Opening 28 Sep 2006
Stephane Miroux (Gael Garcia Bernal) returns to Paris, the home of his childhood, for a creative job which his Mother (Miou-Miou) organized for him. Soon after his return in the process of nearly getting crushed by a piano, Stephane meets his new neighbor, Stephanie (Charlotte Gainsburg) and her friend Zoe (Emma de Caunes). Stephane instantly fancies the vivacious Zoe, the bandager of his piano damaged hand. Only after he has slighted Stephanie does he realize he has much more in common with the more demure of the two. Stephane, who as his mother in the film puts it, inverts dreams and reality, falls deeper and deeper in love with Stephanie. As he tries to draw Stephanie into his world love and obsession become as blurred as Stephane’s dreams and reality.
The Science of Sleep is a trippy ride through the often frantic and sometimes beautiful fantasy dream world of Stephane Miroux. The Science of Sleep is definitely not for everyone, however if you liked director Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Bjork video Human Behavior, you will probably also appreciate the similar style of his latest film. Stephane’s dream sphere is an incredibly visually stimulating universe full of exaggeration, minimization, cardboard cut outs and cellophane. The film skips back and forth between this dream world and reality with ever increasing frequency so that by the end the viewer has as hard a time distinguishing between the two as Stephane does. And actor Gael Garcia Bernal couldn’t be a better guide through this dream world. The Science of Sleep is as much an experience as a story. (Shauna Keeley)