"Obsession like you've never seen it before"

Hart House feature pioneers new film format

by Ramona Zacharias. The Varsity October 3, 2002 page 12

Depicting a young man's obsession with a homeless girl, Sleep Always is the first feature film for up-and-coming writer/directors Mitch Perkins and Rick Palidwor. Starring Fred Spek and Laurie Maher, it premiered at Hart House Theatre this past weekend.

Spek is Frank, a tortured young man with little to do but vie for the attention of Nada (Maher), a mysterious girl who often finds shelter in his apartment's stairwell, much to the chagrin of some of its tenants. The lonely Frank, however, finds himself on a mission to "save" Nada, as much for his own benefit as hers. Easier said than done - the object of his obsession seems to want little to do with him, yet keeps reappearing in his life (and apartment building).

Sleep Always is, technically speaking, very solid. Much of the excitement surrounding the film involves the method used to produce it. Mitch Perkins has developed a super-8 film format that involves "exposing the sound stripe area of the film, as with super-16.... During the telecine we have to shrink this wide frame to fit the 4:3 television frame, resulting in tighter grain but still retaining the small-gauge feel." The resulting "super-duper 8" format has a much more professional-appearing texture, which also adds to the impact of the lead character's inner struggle and borderline psychosis.

Another strong aspect of the film is its soundtrack. In keeping with the indie theme, the musical talent includes names like The Dinner is Ruined, Tim Posgate, Do Make Say Think and Jamie Browning. Ranging from rock/alternative to more folky sounds depending on the particular scene being overlaid, the choice of music is both diverse and thoughtful.

It's clear that a lot of time and dedication were poured into the making of Sleep Always, and the cast and crew's efforts were certainly not lost on the audience.

Copyright ©2002 Friendly Fire Films, All Rights Reserved.

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