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SCIENCE OF SLEEP, THE: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
An illustrator of sorts, Stephane (Gael Garcia Bernal) moves back to his mother's Paris apartment for a new job, and soon meets the two girls living across the landing, Stephanie (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and Zoe (Emma de Caines). The new job turns out to be much duller than he was led to expect, working on calendars with the crude Guy (Alain Chabat). But all the while, Stephane has vivid and extensive dreams, including the recurring one about his own one man show, Stephane TV. As his waking life and sleeping adventures tumble through his brain, his attraction first to Zoe then to Stephanie begin to consume him and his inventive mind. But Stephanie finds his indecisiveness offputting, not to mention his bizarre behaviour as if he were in a dream ....

Review by Louise Keller:
A wondrously baffling jigsaw puzzle where dreams and reality struggle to find a fit, The Science of Sleep is the dream you wish you could have, if you could only remember it. There is nothing straight forward about Michel Gondry's bizarre marriage of the conscious and the subconscious, in which two like souls are drawn by the magnet of their parallel thought patterns. It's crazy and funny, bewildering and confronting as Gael Garcia Bernal's Stephane's and Charlotte Gainsbourg's Stephanie literally and figuratively fall over each other through a confusion of languages, dreams and aspirations.

Stephane lives in his own reality, based in an imagined make-shift tv studio where a cardboard camera records the melange of thoughts, ideas and memories he stirs into a huge stainless steel saucepan. His mind is already in a state of disrepair following the recent death of his father, but is immediately attracted to Stephanie and the wondrously strange assortment of felt and wooden objects she collects. ('Because everyone else is boring; you are different.') ('Will you marry me when you are seventy? You'd have nothing to lose.') A jumble sale of confusion pelts into Stephane's colourful dreams, when his parents, cynical workmates and Stephanie intrude into his fantasies. He is submerged in a bath of cellophane paper; on a ski-lift on cottonwool snow-slopes; wearing a fur cat suit; riding on a felt horse with mechanical legs.

Gondry explores an endless stream of emotions: jealousy, love, loss, regret, inadequacy. Yet the film teeters on an endearing child-like innocence and joy from the outlandish. Our hearts leap as the relationship between Stephane and Stephanie connects in a haze of misadventures, misunderstandings and frivolity. We too, are suspended in the clouds of cinematic magic, as we realise there is no science when it comes to love.

There are cast interviews and a making-of featurette on the DVD.

Published September 13. 2007

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

SCIENCE OF SLEEP, THE: DVD (M)
(France/Italy, 2006)

Science des rÍves, La

CAST: Gael Garcia Bernal, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Alain Chabat, Miou-Miou, Pierre Vaneck, Emma de Caunes, Aurelia Petit, Sacha Bourdo

PRODUCER: Georges Bermann

DIRECTOR: Michel Gondry

SCRIPT: Michel Gondry

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Jean-Louis Bompoint

EDITOR: Juliette Welfling

MUSIC: Jean-Michel Bernard

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Ann Chakraverty, Pierre Pell, Stephane Rosenbaum

RUNNING TIME: 106 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Rialto

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: May 3, 2007

PRESENTATION: Widescreen

SPECIAL FEATURES: Cast interviews, making of featurette, theatrical trailer

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Madman

DVD RELEASE: September 12, 2007







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