Skip to main content

THE SLEEP OF REASON

Australia, 1992 (MIFF 1993, Documentaries)

Director: Peter Jordan

"Ever stood on top of a lookout and really leaned over to see how steep the cliff is? To look into the abyss is to see beyond it." Not only are human beings obsessed with staring down the barrel of the Apocalypse, but we are also guilty of striving to hold its power in our hands. Via great Japanese monster movie trailers, awesome A-Bomb archival footage and medieval paintings, the fascination with our demise is examined in frightening depth. Irrefutable in its truth (the proof is all there in well crafted fact and fiction) in this riveting analysis of where the power really lies.

The film's visual backbone is supplied by the passage of a day in contemporary Hiroshima while the ideas of four on-screen commentators propel the cinematic journey. They are the cultural philosopher George Steiner; New York psychoanalyst Robert Lifton; Donald Kuspit, New York art critic, and film writer and historian Vivian Sobchak. George Steiner, for whom the Holocaust has been the foundation of his cultural and aesthetic thinking, establishes the philosophic and mythic framework for the film. Robert Lifton examines Oppenheimer and the invention of nuclear weapons, and Vivian Sobchak reveals its reflections in popular culture in a century of self-inflicted horrors.

Richard Sowada

See also...

Iwana Station

A stranded motorist in the outback starts walking He comes to a railway line and an unattended station He settles down to wait for the next train, and he waits, and he waits ... More »

BLACK HARVEST

... ... Robin Anderson and Bob Connolly's earlier films First Contact and Joe Leahy's Neigh­bours brought the world the first concerted post-colonial analysis of Australia's dismal record in the ... More »

HOMELANDS

Sydney documentanst and MFF regular, Tom Zubrycki (Bran Nue Dae, Friends and Enemies) continues on his unpredictable way with this intriguing, dramatic documentary portrait of an emigre family, shot ... More »

MODERN TIMES

... ... Documentarist Graham Chase returns to Port Pirie in South Australia to rekindle a few memories, but the town of his childhood is no more. Like so much of Chase's previous work (Democracy ... More »

SEARCHING

Searching is a moving account of adoptees and birth parents, their need to satisfy curiosity, find their identity and make contact with one another. ... More »

BLACK MAN'S HOUSES

... ... Avoiding didacticism, this film raises some f of the most current concerns facing the i resurgence of Aboriginal culture in Australia today. Underpinning the film, which has its world ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director