SLEEPER Wak­ing up with a Woody

SFX - - Reviews -

re­leased 3 OC­tO­ber 1973 | pG | blu-ray Direc­tor Woody allen Cast Woody allen, di­ane Keaton, John beck, mary Gre­gory

Woody Allen may well be cinema’s great­est liv­ing writer-direc­tor but he’s only made one full-blown science fic­tion film. Thank­fully, Sleeper is a corker.

Allen is per­fect as Miles Mon­roe, the owner of a health food store who goes into hospi­tal for a mi­nor op­er­a­tion in 1973 and comes out 200 years later af­ter be­ing cryo­geni­cally frozen. In 2173 he’s pitched into the fight against a po­lice state, and soon teams up with so­cialite Luna (a won­der­ful Di­ane Keaton) to in­fil­trate the mys­te­ri­ous Aries Project.

De­spite its fu­tur­is­tic set­ting, the film says so much about the 1970s, that decade of qual­ity cinema in which it was made – there are ref­er­ences to Water­gate, Miss World and more, but it hasn’t dated. Per­haps that’s be­cause there’s so much of ev­ery­thing in here: slap­stick al­most as sub­lime as Lau­rel and Hardy’s, spot-on in­tro­spec­tion, im­mor­tal one-lin­ers, strik­ing ar­chi­tec­ture and vi­su­als, a witty jazz score, crazy com­edy, cere­bral com­edy, satire, sur­re­al­ism, sex orbs, gi­ant cel­ery…

The work of a great artist who was ma­tur­ing rapidly around this time, Sleeper is a fine achieve­ment in both sci-fi and com­edy.

Ex­tras Trailer. Rus­sell Lewin

The voice of the med­i­cal com­puter in the fi­nal scene was pro­vided by Dou­glas Rain – HAL in 2001.

Un­for­tu­nately the fruit bowl had shrunk.

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