All These Sleepless Nights Screen 12 articles

All These Sleepless Nights


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  • Part of the problem is that one after-party looks much like another, so stringing a bunch of them together, interspersed with scenes of people walking empty streets, merely creates a kinetic blur. Michal Marczak has neither fashioned nor stumbled upon much of a narrative, instead seeking to create the impression of a person “drowning in the present,” as Krzysztof puts it at one point.

  • I’m guessing such undiluted Bacchanalianism will tick off quite a few people, but I liked it. Marczak has a good feel for parties, which is where the documentary/fiction hybrid thing comes in: the lead characters (it’s a love triangle, it doesn’t matter), however fictionalized/real their conflicts are, inhabit very real spaces. His own DP, Marczak prowls parties in immaculately framed widescreen, frequently transforming the film into Steadicam: the Movie.

  • The director has a knack for finding and lingering in the essence of his archetypal subjects. All These Sleepless Nights comes to be defined by its gorgeous party scenes, often set outside mammoth historic buildings and captured in natural, tungsten-hued light as night gives way to dawn.

  • In some ways, All These Sleepless Nights feels like 100 minutes of waiting for something to happen: it’s probably just as well that we get only a year’s worth of Krzysiek’s life, and then just a compilation of the briefest highlights. And yet something is happening all the time, and fairly frenetically for the most part—even though the frenzy often feels paradoxically like the numb stasis often associated with youthful hedonism, at least in movies.

  • This is a movie that exists, from moment to moment, in the brief space between sunset and sunrise. It feels like a supercut of passionate memories, accordingly. Plotless and emphatically experiential, the movie has an almost dogged insistence on feeling spontaneous, sometimes to its detriment.

  • Marczak’s All These Sleepless Nights, winner of the directing prize in the international documentary competition, is striking not only because of its rich, intimate photography. Its dense and crisp audio is ear-catching and adds an unexpected aspect of intimacy to the film.

  • The camera moves with an expressiveness, as well as an invasiveness, that evokes Emmanuel Lubezki’s work with Terrence Malick—poetry not prose, gestures and glimpses of truth rather than the starkly raw or recognizably real. Even as it accumulates moments of beauty and happenstance... the film reaches past the tangible to the intangible, beyond what’s seen and toward what’s felt.

  • Saved from any pretension by a quiet, understated sincerity, the film has the nonchalant drift of an American indie, but in its intimate and affectionate meld with all the city’s secret spaces, it’s Polish through and through.

  • Marczak captures moments of great intimacy as well as bigger moments that evoke the feeling of being engulfed in a crowd of people all your own age. The film’s free-spiritedness and lightness was a contrast with much else that I saw.

  • For his Sundance Best Director award-winning latest, Marczak paid his main subjects, Michal Huszcza, Eva Lebuef and Krzysztof Baginski, to enact semi-scripted versions of themselves. He invented his own camera rig and re-recorded much of the dialogue. Marczak’s cinema is not so much nonfiction as hyper-real, yet you’ll find few films with this much documentary insight into The Way We Live Now.

  • The preamble gives a key to understanding Marczak’s approach to showing Krzysztof’s life—this isn’t to be the whole story, but rather the collection of a year’s worth of all-nighters... The voice-over’s wistful tone also points to at least one of Marczak’s possible inspirations, Wong Kar-wai, whose whirligig presence is detectable here alongside something of the late style of Terrence Malick and Larry Clark’s abiding interest in the casual cruelty of the raw and green.

  • Throughout, what makes All These Sleepless Nights distinct, beyond the three protagonists philosophical, artistic musings and their charisma, is the camera’s ability to convey the state of intoxication and the dreaminess of the nocturnal juvenilia.

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