Students and faculty decide whether Science of Sleep has a plot.
Anne Torkelson '07
Though English majors often have a chance to explore symbols, allusions, imagery, dialogue, and ideas in literature, they gather together far less often to do the same with film.
This changed on Friday, Oct. 20, when students and professors Jan Allister, Carlos Reyes, and Jenny Dunning attended an organized outing to see Michel Gondry's The Science of Sleep at the Lagoon Theatre in Minneapolis. About 25 students turned up for the event, a larger number than the professors, who planned the night, had expected.
A film by the creator of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Science of Sleep is a playful, imaginative journey into the life and dreams of Stephan Miroux (Gael Garcia Bernal). Fantastical and amusing, yet often strikingly familiar, Stephan's dreams permeate his waking life, making it difficult for him--and some of the audience members--to determine what is real and what is dream. Stephan's romatic interest, neighbor Stephanie (Charlotte Gainsbourg), both loves and struggles with Stephen's creative and artistic, yet distorted, sense of reality.
After the movie, the group rejoined at Cafe Vera a few blocks away for hot beverages, cookies donated by the establishment, and friendly discussion.
The conversation didn't stop at the coffee shop, however. "I talked about [the movie] all the way home with the students in my car," Allister said. The students said they never gathered for organized discussion after watching movies on campus and that they would like to attend similar outings with the English Department in the future. Allister thinks the evening worked so well because the group made a point of going for coffee and talking about the movie instead of waiting for a discussion to happen spontaneously. She added that viewing the movie at the Lagoon, instead of on campus or in Lakeville, "felt really special."
Most of the Oles enjoyed the film, though some were frustrated with the ending and many continued to reflect and form opinions long after the group dispersed. David Benson-Staebler '08 said that at Vera's Cafe, "we had a whole room reserved for deciding if Science had a plot."
Whatever the moviegoers decided, the event was, as Allister said, a "smashing" success.