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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

I Need Sleep

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This post goes out to David Anaxagoras from Man Bytes Hollywood who could probably use some right about now. I hear ya guy, I've been there.

Today is the release of The Machinist on DVD, a film I found to either be under marketed, overlooked or both. It is a grim, unsettling journey into a paranoid soul search for answers. It is the story of Trevor Reznick (notice the play on Trent Reznor). He is an industrial machine operator who hasn't slept in a year and in convinced he is losing his mind. By causing a horrible accident in the workplace he becomes more and more obsessed with sleep and his own insanity.

Yeah, yeah it's dark, we all know that but what I found so fascinating about the film is how it created an manifested world of the protagonist mental deterioration. I do not want to spoil this for people who haven't seen the film yet but I think the Scott Kosar screenplay matched with Brad Anderson at the helm made for an atmospheric, disturbing study of one man's look at himself, his sanity and the consequences of his actions. To transform himself into this emaciated skeletal figure for the role, Christian Bale lost 63 pounds by surviving on an apple and a can of tuna fish a day. We're talking thin. Really thin. No, really. That's commitment.

The comparisons to the films of Hitchcock and The Shining have been well documented. This didn't take me out of the experience at all because of Anderson's fresh approach to the material. In fact, I think he has a great career ahead of him if he can keep making films with integrity like this and Session 9.

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