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Science of Sleep


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#1 Chad Stockfleth

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 10:00 AM

I adore Gondry and nearly all of his output. I don't think that Gael Garcia Bernal has ever been in a bad movie. Charlotte Gainsborough is a phenomenon.

All of that said, I didn't care so much for Science of Sleep. I really wanted to like it, and enjoyed moments, but it really seemed like a rehashing of a lot of Gondry's music video techniques and a kind of watered down version of Eternal Sunshine.

I didn't mind the ambiguous ending, but my fiance was none too pleased! ;-)

My understanding is that Gondry had NO money for this one (and was turned away by several post houses).

Anybody have any stories?
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#2 Dan Goulder

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 10:28 AM

My understanding is that Gondry had NO money for this one (and was turned away by several post houses).

If that's true, I sure hope it's because he's blown all his money. It would be a shame to think he never made enough or impressed enough money people to get backing.
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#3 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 12:21 AM

anybody know what this was shot on? both filmwise and camera wise.
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#4 Thom Stitt

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 01:36 AM

I think this one of the best films this year. That's not to say I wasn't disappointed - I think it's important to forget about Eternal Sunshine, forget about any similarities in the stories or how they look. It's such a different film that you're only setting yourself up to be disappointed if you go in expecting another Eternal Sunshine.

That said, I know The Science of Sleep is going to grow on me over time. I plan on picking up the DVD and watching it many times in the future - there's so much there, both visually and between the characters, that it's going to be a new experience with each viewing.

Gondry's created an eccentric little underdog, but removes the sentimentality we're used to with these kinds of characters. Instead we get to know a real person, with real feelings - it's complicated, and he's oftentimes extremely unlikable - but we know him intimately - we live inside his head, we get to know more than just the man himself - we get to know the childlike pilot in the cockpit, all of his flaws bared. Gondry's dream sequences are so incredible that I really ended up regretting seeing the trailers and clips that I had watched online before seeing the film.

but onto one of my favorite aspects of the movie - It fits into this kind of independent filmmaking that I will always subscribe to - the goal being to wittle down the filmmaking machine to its most basic and required parts. I don't think you need over 60 20K fresnels to shoot a simple newsroom, as they did in Superman Returns. I don't think you need to run miles and miles of 4OT to enormous lighting fixtures on every street corner of a town, as I've heard they're doing on the new Coen Bros movie (I should also mention that I love Deakins' cinematography).

I'm making extreme comparisons here between major hollywood blockbusters and tiny independent projects I know, but nevertheless: I look at Half Nelson and A Clockwork Orange, and even Eternal Sunshine and Science of Sleep, and these are films that barely used ANY lighting compared to the usual Studio fare, and they look real, they look believable, and they look good (though some people will argue that Half Nelson is too grainy.).

These are projects with cinematographers and directors that are simply making the active decision to to cut down on the size of the filmmaking tank - This isn't Dogma 95 in the least. I see it as a little something I like to call "reason".

I agree that The Science of Sleep didn't really live up to its full potential. It's sort of a tough film, because you have such a hard time sympathizing with such a damaged character while having to literally take the experience inside his brain. But I expect time to be very kind to The Science of Sleep. This is going to remain one of my top favorite films of this year, and I'm really looking forward to seeing it more.

Oh, and 80% of the film was shot on the brand new 500T Fuji Eterna 8573 stock, which the filmmakers, in testing, found to hold underexposed images much better than Kodak's 5218 that we all know so well.

The rest of the film was shot on Fuji 250D 8561, Kodak EXR 50D 5245, and for the stop-motion animation sequences, Vision2 5274.

The camera was an Arricam Lite with Zeiss G.O./Superspeed primes and a 100mm Canon Macro lens.

The stop-motion sequences were shot with a 25mm Debrie-Parvo L camera with Kinoptik lenses.

The filmmakers actually wanted to keep postproduction in the analog realm, grading photochemically, but producers actually imposed a D.I.
The cinematographer refers to Gondry and himself as "prisoners of technology" through the process.

All from the October ASC!

Edited by Thom Stitt, 21 October 2006 - 01:39 AM.

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#5 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 02:02 AM

if you notice on one of the "stephane show" cardboard cameras, a box used to make the prop is a Fujifilm Eterna 500 box.

hah cool response man.
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#6 Thom Stitt

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Posted 22 October 2006 - 05:30 AM

I noticed that too! It was the cameras! The cardboard cameras in his brain-studio are made from the film stock boxes, the 8573.

Yeah, they were probably pinching a few pennies.
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#7 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 06:47 PM

I noticed that too! It was the cameras! The cardboard cameras in his brain-studio are made from the film stock boxes, the 8573.

Yeah, they were probably pinching a few pennies.

Product placement?

It might not be though because they defaced the box so it reads E_ern_

SO blatant to a educated eye though.
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#8 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 02:57 AM

I thought it was a great film and wildly creative on a shoestring budget. It really showed us how well cheap stop motion can still work in modern filmmaking practices.

I liked the look of the Fuji stock too. It had a greenish hue to it a lot of times, especially when they were underexposing (example: when Bernal sneeks in through Stephane's window), and the stock really helped in picking up that little detail that using Kodak probably would have been all black.

True, the ending was really abrupt and unsatisfying, but I think the point was that this story just goes on and on and that the storyteller (Gondry) just decided to stop telling it at that point. Which is admirable in a way.

I still recommend it, Bernal's performance was great.
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#9 Danny Lachman

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 10:40 PM

I was hoping to be the one to say that I saw the fuji film boxes! I felt like such an insider when I watched it because of that. The film I just got done working on called "Dream Boy" was shot using a lot of 500 and 250D Eterna and it looked awesome in the dailies.
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