Nicole has the typical nine-to-five job where she slaves away in front of a computer all day. One afternoon two men approach Nicole to help them translate an old Chinese manuscript, in which she reluctantly accepts given the handsome amount of money. As Nicole beings to decipher the ancient transcript, stranger and stranger things begin to happen in her life which lack any explanation. Sara Driver's Sleepwalk is one of the strangest films I have seen in quite some time. The film is a hodgepodge of so many things that I really had a hard time understanding what Sara Driver was going for with Sleepwalk. The film is a fun, odd blend of cultural, with 80s New York mixed with a laughably flimsy East Asian mythology of sorts. This is a hard film to really pin down but my favorite aspect would be how well the film blends reality with fantasy. As Nicole translates the manuscript her life become stranger and stranger to the point that the viewer has really no idea what is real and what isn't. Near the end of the film the line between reality and fantasy is shattered, with the viewer only left to questioning the true outcome. In a way one could argue that Sleepwalk is one of the few films out there which attempts to blend surrealism and realism, at least in a unique and interesting way. While it's hard to tell, given the films limited availability, Sleepwalk is a gorgeously composed film with numerous compositions and lighting which evoke a sense of mystery, fantasy and suspense. It probably doesn't sound like it but Sleepwalk is also very funny from both what I suspect are intentional and unintentional moments. For example, Nicole's roommate, an illegal immigrant from China, provided a ton of laughs for me from her broken english to her suspect acting. Sleepwalk is one of those films that is able to rise above its faults, ultimately being a unique and fascinating blend of surrealism and realism though I'm still not sure what the point of it all was. I almost forgot! The film features very early screen roles from both Steve Buscemi and Tony Todd, making it worth seeing for that alone.
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