An intoxicating Welsh elegy
SLEEP FURIOUSLY Directed by Gideon Koppel Club, IFI, 94 min
Observing oddities such as Patrick Keiller’s great London and Terence Davies’s recent Of Time and the
City, we may sense the appropriately glacial emergence of a new class of British film: the elegiac, hypno-documentary. Featuring wistful snatches of music and curiously framed shots of unpromising vistas, the films mourn
Sleep Furiously: delightfully odd beautifully for crumbling corners and faded values. Now, with Gideon Koppel’s delightfully odd Sleep Furiously (playing for three nights from September 7th in the Irish Film Institute), the genre makes its way to the declining Welsh farming neighbourhood of Trefeurig.
Beginning with the closure of the local school, the film goes among the residents of the locale – where the director’s parents found sanctuary from Nazi Germany – to discover a community that is never ashamed of its own stubborn eccentricity. The most successful moments, however, are those featuring shots – some peculiarly speeded-up – of the animals and vehicles that decorate the surrounding countryside.
Utilising characteristic throbs by Aphex Twin on the soundtrack, Koppel has delivered a film that is as intoxicating as it is purposefully confounding. DC Read John Banville on Sleep
Furiously in today’s Arts page