The Science of Sleep

Director: Michel Gondry
Screenwriters: Michel Gondry

Institute History

  • 2006 Sundance Film Festival


Life seems to be looking up for shy and withdrawn Stephane when he returns to his childhood home with the promise of a great job. Wildly creative, his fanciful and sometimes disturbing dream life constantly threatens to usurp his waking world. While the job fails to meet expectations, he does strike up a relationship with his neighbor, Stephanie. As their connection blossoms, the confidence he exudes in his fanciful dream life begins bleeding into his real life. But just as everything is looking up, his insecurities raise their ugly head, and he faces a dilemma that the science of sleep may not help him solve.

Michel Gondry's science fiction doesn't explore outer, but rather inner, space, playfully reflecting the interaction between the worlds we inhabit: nature, society, and the mind. The Science of Sleep utilizes rudimentary techniques to craft a thoroughly complex vision of the lead character's brain, filled with the anxieties, hopes, fears, and yearnings that lie in all of us. Gael Garcia Bernal perfectly radiates these emotions as Stephane, a man trying to take control of his dreams because his life is slipping away.

Densely packed with imagery and symbols as well as soulful emotion and humor, The Science of Sleep weaves a dreamlike narrative ripe for examination and enjoyment and further establishes Gondry as a master of cinematic language.

— Trevor Groth

Screening Details

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