While Trylon microcinema has steadily built its movie revering reputation on a consistently enticing slate of classic films (ranging from the widely celebrated to the criminally overlooked), the inclusion of Trylon Premiere Tuesdays expands the theater’s programming to encompass contemporary works from around the globe. Tomorrow’s classics, today? Stop by the Trylon on Tuesdays to find out.
Playing 11.15 & 11.22: Sleep Furiously
At first glance, director Gideon Koppel’s quietly unassuming documentary Sleep Furiously seems suspended in a state of slumber. The film’s defining scene, in fact, may well be a lingering long shot of sheep filing down a grassy hillside to the tranquil patter of gently falling rain. Rather than inducing snores, however, the effect is impressively immersive, like a waking dream conjured from the screen. For those caught in its spell, Koppel’s work plays like a hypnotizing piece of cinematic poetry.
Audiences intent on a linear narrative, of course, will likely grow impatient with this leisurely study of life in the Welsh farming community of Trefeurig. Like an expressionist landscape painting, Sleep Furiously yields the most reward to those viewers willing to sit back, breathe deep, and marvel at the atmosphere. Rest assured, there is a story here, but the narrative resides in the margins between the moments.
What does the monthly visit from a bookmobile and its genial librarian have to do with the increasing mechanization of farming? Where is the correlation between a village school on the verge of closure and the amiable diversion of sheepdog training? The film proposes such questions, but avoids direct answers. Instead, Koppel is content with an achingly beautiful mosaic of rural life staring down the clock of modernity.
Without relying upon talking heads or verbal commentary, Sleep Furiously allows the environment to speak independently. Which is not to say that Koppel is entirely committed to cinema verite; the subtle cross-cut editing of Mario Battistel, for example, suggests lyrical associations from scene to scene. Backing the effort is a transfixing score by electronic musician/composer Aphex Twin that tonally bridges disparate sequences. Such delicate technical embellishments only enhance the film’s sense of possibility, like a nighttime display of fireworks transformed into a deeply enthralling spectacle.
By the time Sleep Furiously reaches its wistful conclusion, Trefeurig has come to feel like a ghost town in waiting, a haunted landscape rapidly being assimilated by the modern world. The ephemeral beauty of its passing, recorded in everyday banality, is the essential poignancy of Koppel’s eloquently eulogistic work.
Sleep Furiously plays at the Trylon microcinema at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. November 15th and 22nd. For ticket information, see Take-Up Productions or call 612-424-5468.