Autumnal Sleeps

Program item reference
autumnal sleeps
Film description

In a remote rural estate house, a woman sleeps, she is alone. It’s a time not far from the dawn of the moving image, the obsessed and wealthy Dr. Epstein engineers a number of scientific experiments. He subjects his adopted children, Pete and Re-Pete, along with his darling flapper, Baby Dee, to his various scientific tasks. Things take a decidedly strange turn when Epstein makes a deal with some shifty-looking vagabonds. On doing so he opens a door to the unknown, ruptures the fabric of time and unleashes a shadow-like character bent on reducing all those he encounters to dust. Photographed on expired 35mm film with a 50year old Soviet camera, Autumnal Sleeps takes inspiration from early silent cinema. The characters and the nature of performance resemble those from a roadshow attraction while highlighting the illusory power of voyeurism and exhibitionism. Like unrestored film of early cinema, the image flickers and the colours bleed creating a psychedelic sensation as one transported through a haunting industrial score broken up with poetic interludes that examine the deeper emotions of the characters. Supported by The Arts Council of Ireland and Experimental Film Society.

Michael Higgins
Film duration
Language spoken
Production country
Production year