Sleepwalk

Sara Driver

IFFR 1987

  • 75'
  • USA
  • 1985

In Sara Driver’s enigmatic feature film debut, a succession of odd scenes play out in the desolate, spooky Lower East Side of Manhattan. She has been living here for 40 years and during the 1970s and 1980s she made No Wave cinema.

When hollow-eyed Nicole is given a Chinese manuscript to translate by two mysterious men at work, the stories in the book start seeping into her sleepless life: bleeding fingers, hair loss and green-eyed dogs. Driver conjures up a creepy supernatural atmosphere with minimal means. The sinister soundtrack includes Asian influences, and Jarmusch and Prinzi’s chiaroscuro images enhance this. A young Steve Buscemi provides the necessary humour in a small role. But what sticks most are the dreamy shots of the empty streets of the Lower East Side. The idiosyncratic Sleepwalk is both a surreal fairy tale and an ode to the neighbourhood.

Director
Sara Driver
Country of production
USA
Production Year
1985
Festival Edition
IFFR 1987
Length
75'
Medium
35mm
Languages
English, Chinese
Producers
Sara Driver, Otto Grokenberger
Production Companies
Driver Films, Ottoskop Filmproduktion
Sales
Sara Driver
Screenplay
Kathleen Brennan, Sara Driver, Lorenzo Mans
Cinematography
Jim Jarmusch, Frank Prinzi
Editor
Yu Li-shin
Production Design
Matiki Anoff
Music
Phil Kline
Cast
Suzanne Fletcher, Ann Magnuson, Dexter Lee, Stephen Chen, Tony Todd, Richard Boes, Ako