The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, January 27-February 2

2006_the_science_of_sleep_022The Science of Sleep (2006)
Directed by Michel Gondry
Stephane, a graphic-designer-meets-young-boy (trapped in the body of Gael García Bernal), has just arrived in Paris after the death of his father in order to live with his henpecking mother. Across the hall lives Stephanie (Charlotte Gainsbourg, wistful as ever), a dexterous collage artist, who, gasp, not only uses her hands for her occupation too––but has a name off by one letter. If only love were so straightforward in this unhinged, papier-mâché fantasyscape Gondry created, but it isn’t, and though they have a few idiosyncratic dates, the chemistry between Stephane and Stephanie only exists in the dreamworld of a troubled man. The story exists here in the lack thereof; the narrative is both sideways and forward––it parallels and then contradicts itself––just like the puerile fascinations of its protagonist. Though Gondry’s ephemeral, charismatic sets, ingenious gadgets, and playful undertones are present, when Stephane wakes up and the film concludes, his dreams eventually obliterate, and he’s left with the harsh realities of existence. Samantha Vacca (February 2, 6:30pm at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s “Jane and Charlotte Forever”)

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