Monday, August 11, 2008

Long Dream (2000; Higuchinsky)

I noticed that I was leaning way too far into American cinema, so let me switch gears and move to something a little more... not American.

It depresses me thinking that the only picture I could find was the cover. It is not that it is a bad cover, it is that there aren't enough people out there who know about this film to post actual stills. This fantastic work was brought to us by Higuchinsky, a man who is terribly under worked (only having two full lengths and this under his belt) and whose best known film, Uzumaki, has been considered one of the most imaginative movies around. One reason this short (not really a short... it is somewhere near the one hour point, which makes it more of a... silm? fhort? I will stick with fhort) has gotten so little attention is because for some reason no one wants to release it? Why that is is absolutely beyond me, as the story of the film is very thought provoking to say the least.

Nagai Yume (literally Long Dream when translated) has a character with a very troubling problem. Whenever he goes to sleep, it feels as if his dreams are the lengths of whole days. He soon discovers that each time he goes back to sleep, the dreams feel longer and longer, to the point where months or even years go by in the dream, which begins to have effects on not only his mental stabilty but his outward appearence as well. One night he asks his doctor a very important question that no one could think of an answer to. What would happen if the dreams got so long, they lasted forever?

True to his form in Uzumaki (why that film doesn't feel the need to be translated like the rest is beyond me) Higuchinsky brings us a very interesting concept in a very stunning manner. His use of colors is simply captivating to me and while his scores never really seem to stay in my head long, everytime I do hear them again, I get the comfortable feeling of nostalgia.

My main problem with the fhort was how the story had to close with the doctors not the patient (I am trying to be as vague as possible). I feel that leaving the doctors as minor characters and focusing only on the patient would have made it a much more compelling piece of work.

Score: 3/5

Notes: Aliens, Romance

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