Before I Go To Sleep
Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth and Mark Strong star in director Rowan Joffe's (Brighton Rock) psychological thriller.
Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman sits in on meetings, lectures and seminars at UC Berkeley, one of America’s largest publicly funded higher education institutions, as they suffer drastic budget cuts.
At Berkeley is the latest opus from veteran filmmaker Frederick Wiseman, who has been documenting human behaviour in various contexts for upwards of 40 years, and has perfected a purely observational style that dispenses with narration and the overt directorial fingerprints of intertitles and interviews in favour of placing the camera in the middle of a room and watching conversations unfold.
By that token, 244 minutes of university seminars, lectures and administrative meetings may sound dull, but Wiseman’s gentle, seamless editing and delicate storytelling allow these voyeuristic sequences to build meaning en masse – an effect that, by the time the credits roll, is truly staggering. By mixing classroom discussions on social policy in a post-financial crisis America with the bureaucratic realities that the Chancellor’s cabinet deal with behind closed doors, a full picture starts to appear.
Students are encouraged to aggressively question and criticise, but cynicism is staved off as discussions range from access to education and the rise in college fees to the invisible prejudices that haunt even a world-class institution like Berkeley. Meanwhile, the administrative staff deal with diminishing public funding to keep the university accessible in testing economic times – a particular coup, and recurring theme, being that they had just admitted the most scholarship-assisted students in Berkeley’s history. So when, around the three-hour mark, a student protest breaks out, demanding “no cuts, no fees” and occupying one of the college’s libraries, we’re treated to both sides of the matter – and wonder whether, in this intellectually engaged community, such action is tolerated and even encouraged as an expression of the students’ passion.
But to focus on that thread would be to ignore the little glimpses of campus life that Wiseman wisely inserts among the discourse: close-harmony groups, a robotics lab, the Kronos Quartet in concert, poetry readings and, in the film’s closing moments, a lecture on human life on other planets open up the film even further, adding up to a voluminous observation of American higher education in action.
A four-hour long documentary about higher education certainly isn’t going to arouse everyone’s interest, but this is the real deal: insightful, revealing and comprehensive.
Shooting has started in Cincinnati on The Killing of a Sacred Deer,¿ which reunites Colin Farrell with director/producer Yorgos Lanthimos, following the critical and commercial success of The Lobster.
39 titles from Film4's library will be launched to buy or rent on iTunes and Amazon on August 1st, 2016. The collection includes classics and award-winners which will be available for digital download
The best all-singing, all-dancing showstoppers every committed to screen
A summary of the critics and film professionals who voted for the top 50 Horror films of the 21st Century
@Film4 ICYMI: we love this collection of the best moments from @mr_wheatley and co.'s live tweet of High-Rise. https://t.co/IPlrw2FWfR
@Film4 RT @AdamofVaughan: CORALINE (Henry Selick, 2009): a dark, Lynchian fable with beautiful animation. @Film4, 12:50, #filmoftheday. https://t.…
@Film4 RT @LiveWatchPlay: My #wittertainment "TV Movie of the Week" list is up and running on @letterboxd. 1st up is Frank, 31/08 on @Film4 https:…
@Film4 Tonight! https://t.co/ITm2oSn41z
@Film4 Coming up tomorrow night... https://t.co/ITm2oSEET7