The Science of Sleep

Artykuł pochodzi z pisma "Guardian"

The Science of Sleep

Peter Bradshaw
Friday February 16, 2007
The Guardian

Here is the second enjoyable comedy of the week: though one whose appeal is more cerebral and more romantic. French-born Michael Gondry, the director and co-writer of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, has given us another movie with that distinctive combination of elegance and wackiness: insouciant, self-reflexive and intensely childlike. It has the qualities already widely associated with his collaborator Charlie Kaufman: that is, the playful, fantastical feel of a Woody Allen short story, or Gore Vidal's Myra Breckinridge novels, the movies of Richard Lester - but also the lo-fi world of eastern European animation and the make-do-and-mend quality of the Banana Splits show from 1970s children's TV.
It is set in Paris, where Stéphane (Gael García Bernal) has returned to live in the almost-forgotten family home he left with his father when his parents divorced. Now his mother has divided the apartment into two flats, allowing him to live in one and rent the other out to two single girls, Stéphanie and Zoe (Charlotte Gainsbourg and Emma De Caunes). His mother has herself moved out to live with her unsuitable boyfriend: a dodgy magician. Stéphane simply moves back into his childhood bedroom, which his mother has kept unchanged with all his old toys and posters and wacky inventions, and it encourages Stéphane in his regressive Walter Mitty-ish tendency to reverie and fantasy.
In his head, Stéphane is the host of a homemade TV show, with stage-set and cameras made of cardboard, a kind of lifestyle-news programme whose sole purpose is to comment on the ongoing bafflement of his life. And poor Stéphane is falling for his beautiful neighbour Stéphanie, who is entranced by this innocent, with his ingenuous imaginative charm and love of arts and crafts, but does not find him attractive. His interior world is brilliantly and vividly dramatised by Gondry, and Gainsbourg's Stéphanie describes it as "kind of retarded, in a way". That rather offensive term is perhaps explained by the fact that this is a French person speaking English - and yet it does, as it were, name the elephant in the living room.
In the hands of anyone else, this could have been excruciating, but I found it thoroughly delightful: idealistic and romantic: a thwarted love story that does not trade in the degraded cliches either of romance or conventional sexiness. Stéphane's relationship with his workmates, particularly the boorish yet likable Guy, played by Alain Chabat, is effortlessly comic.
This is a mostly French-language film you can imagine being translated easily into an American setting, an effect of the creative communion between Gondry and Kaufman, and it is tender and lyrical in its own way. When Stéphane addresses the camera on his own crazy inner-world TV show, it is a very different experience from watching, say, Rupert Pupkin on the set of his imaginary talk show in Scorsese's King of Comedy. Bernal's gentle, vulnerable hero is addicted to his fantasy retreat, and yet he is not delusional exactly, and very much aware of what people think of him. The Science of Sleep may not have the sucrose-enriched romance and big laugh-lines that made Eternal Sunshine such a hit, and yet it is a thoughtful, and engaging picture.

addicted to- uzależniony od
address- zwracać się do
bafflement- zamieszanie
boorish- gburowaty, prostacki
cliche- banał, frazes
communion- wspólnota, związek duchowy
degraded- zwietrzały
delusional- urojeniowy
distinctive- charakterystyczny, wyróżniający
dodgy- podejrzany, niebudzący zaufania
entrance- oczarować, zachwycać
excruciating- potworny, męczący
fall for- zakochać się
host- gospodarz
ingenuous- prostolinijny, naturalny
insouciant- beztroski
interior- gorszy, niższy
offensive- obraźliwy
ongoing- trwający, w toku
regressive- wsteczny, regresywny
retarded- opóźniony
retreat- wycofywać się
reverie- marzenia, zaduma
sole- jedyny, wyłączany, całkowity
sucrose-enriched- przesłodzony
tender- czuły, delikatny
thoroughly- zupełnie, całkowicie
thwarted- daremny, niemożliwy do realizacji
vividly- żywo
vulnerable- bezbronny, wrażliwy
wackiness- nieobliczlność; dziwaczność
wacky- stuknięty, nieobliczlny, dziwaczny


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