Golden Slumbers Screen 5 articles

Golden Slumbers


Golden Slumbers Poster
  • ...Chou's unconventional choice to rely on people's memories instead of using clips from films they're referencing mirrors the fact that many of Cambodia's films, and their history, have largely been lost, and puts value back on people who've historically been undervalued, both by the Khmer Rouge and, by lack of mention, cinema history at large.

  • An exotic and elegant meta movie, “Golden Slumbers” shores the fragments of a ruined cinema... In a way “Golden Slumbers” blends the two modes. The romance of Cambodian cinema is developed in tales of elaborate or outlandish film productions while that cinema’s uncanny aspect is reinforced by the sense of former matinee idols living out their lives in a fading netherworld.

  • “Golden Slumbers” has a tendency to wallow in its romanticism, not to the point of trivializing its history, but definitely dropping off into somnolence. Its use of a structuring absence sometimes just comes across as a slackness in the film’s treatment. But as light, and unearthly, as the missing films may sound now (bearing titles like “Out of the Nest” or “The Sad Life”), Mr. Chou’s documentary shows how they are no trivial matter, even in the shadow of an inexpressibly terrible crime.

  • The film’s most striking gambit is a move towards haunting visual poetry in its latter half; set to ominous drones and reverberating Cambodian pop songs from a bygone era, ghostly tracking shots through Phnom Penh pool halls and towards inanimate objects recall the more eccentric touches of Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Syndromes and a Century.

  • If an entire national film heritage seems to be a formidable and inviolate thing, something incapable of being forgotten or erased, then consider Cambodia. The story told in Davy Chou’s documentary Golden Slumbers (2011)—currently eking out a few theatrical showings in American cities—staggers the imagination, and will rewrite any ideas you’ve maintained about how movies function in the culture at large.