ALL THOSE SLEEPLESS NIGHTS
Director: Michal Marczak
Runtime: 100 minutes
The documentary has slowly morphed into a narrative that could be a fluid as water, or as animated as a cartoon, with snippets of the real mixing seamlessly with the acted/performed. All These Sleepless NIghts, the debut film by Michal Marczak, falls under that large umbrella, something that you could call “experimental film” or “documentary – narrative fusion” in which we observe the story transpiring in fragmented pieces of time, played by actors playing versions of themselves, with the vaguest of definable plots unifying the entire product as whole. Sometimes it yields harrowing drama, and sometimes it can misfire. In this case, I’m going to remain somewhat in the middle of the two extremes because All These Sleepless Nights tackles topics of extreme hedonism, bromance gone wrong, and an aimlessness in life that I can’t quite relate to but find fascinating anyway.
So, onto the story per se: we come in, it seems, into the story in medias res, sort of at the end, with Krzysztof watching a display of fireworks from what seems to be a rather comfy Warsaw apartment. Soon later we get a sense of what happened for him to end up here; he was extremely close at point to his buddy Michal, so close that they may have almost hooked up together and lived in their own world of late-night debauchery, acts of defiance, and parties that seem to last forever. They walk around the city from event to event, discussing the type of things 20-somethings would. Somewhere along the way, Krzysztof hooks up with Eva, a waifish blonde who used to date Michal. The faintest of dents appear out of nowhere, possibly because of a sense of jealousy, perhaps? And off they go, in different tangents, Krzysztof into his own world of late-night chill out dancing and drugs; MIchal drops out of sight for a bit. When Krzyssztof breaks up with Eva he seeks Michal out but Michal either is still not too willing to take him back, or has moved on and is starting to get his act together. [After all, nights of endless partying can’t go on — life has to have a meaning, and while they both continually do discuss the meaning of it all through the early portions of the movie it’s clear they’re just dicking it around, behaving like fratboys out on the night, maybe getting into a little mayhem here or there.
My only guess is the director, Marczak,has tried to make a social commentary about the state of the youth today — in particular millennials — who seem to have no purpose but the here and now. On one end there looks to be a fascination with that life; on the other, it’s less mere observance and more passive critique. Acquaintances form from thin air and vanish in seconds. It’s as if though life were a constant merry go round where everyone is trying to impress — but not to climb socially inasmuch to get the next high. It’s an interesting movie to see if you’re into chill out / late night lounge music, but the macho posturing that starts out somewhat insolent (and potentially dangerous; in one sequence the boys head into the metro tunnel to walk in between moving trains). There is a unsubtle nod to French New Wave. As a matter of fact this could have made a sharp little movie with its own social commentary. It premiered at New Directors – New Films and if you have an interest, please go catch it.