Friday, November 25, 2011

"I Can't Sleep" tries to solve a 1990's mystery (and reign of terror) in Paris; distributor Wellspring Media had an interesting idea


I’ve seen most films present LGBT characters more favorably than the 1995 film I watched today, that is, a French film from Claire Denis and Wellspring Media, “I Can’t Sleep” (or “J’ai pas sommeil”).  

The film hypothesizes about the spree of robberies and murders of senior citizens in Paris in the 1990s. The anxiety among senior Parisians explains the title of the movie. If this is supposed to be an art film, it is a bit of a downer.  Three characters are traced.  Daiga (Yekaterina Golubeva) has emigrated from Lithuania but speaks little French.   Theo (Alex Descas) struggles to support a family as a musician.  Camille (Richard Courset) has moved from the leather scene to cross dressing but still enjoys the discos.  Their lives start to come together.  One of them, at least, is up to no good, and he or she may drag the others along.  The unraveling at the end is quite effective.   But this is one of those movies where you’re not sure you care about the characters much.  It’s a bit off course from French film that I am used to. 


I found a 2003 reference to how Wellspring Media works (or worked), and its relation to Koch Lorber.  The concept here for film distribution (“one stop”) sounds interesting.  We ought to see more of this.

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