Sleep | Chicago Reader

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Peter Calvin's first feature is a melange of metaphysical riffs on action and the unconscious, loosely held together by a narrative about four friends afflicted with different sleep disorders. A soothing voice-over quotes from Nietzsche, Raymond Carver, and scientific research findings, but the film's disjointed sequences and intertitles don't always amplify the quotes, and while some of the verbal allusions are startling, others seem far-fetched and pretentious. Calvin's imagery alternately recalls Jon Jost's mundane poetry, Jon Moritsugu's punk insouciance, and Wim Wenders's rhapsodic feel for urban landscape (in this case Los Angeles); the visual jumble deepens the mystery of the characters' odd nocturnal behavior but perhaps also shows an impressionable director groping for his own style.

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