Making Senses of Our Dreams

The Science of Sleep


I am a big fan of a French Director, Michel Gondry. The visions he creates such as Chemical Brothers’ Star Guitar and Kylie Minogue’s Come into My World are always astounding. His second feature film, The Science of Sleep, has all his visual tricks that go with dream-and-reality-cross-over theme.

After his father’s death, Stephane (Gael Garcia Bernal), moves to France to find out that he does not get the job he was promised as an Illustrator but as a Typesetter in a calendar publisher. The escape from real-life frustration is in the journey through his dreams. Then he falls in love with a local, Stephanie (Charlotte Gainsbourg), but the girl seems so distant even though she is living next door. While he is trying desperately to win her heart, his delusions become closer and closer to reality.

So what our dreams are made of, just some random intuitive thoughts or emotional fragments of daily life? Boundary between the realms of reality and fantasy is blurred in schizophrenic patients. In this case, Stephane’s mild illusions expose his ingredients of his dreams and mix up with reality quite beautifully.

The vivid dream sequences are made of conventional animation and old-time movie techniques, at least, I do not detect any computer graphics. It is the right medium for a French romantic-comedy—I am not talking about Amelie. The down fall is that I just cannot help comparing them with Terry Gilliam’s work, only more or less Brechtian.

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