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Australia 2014
Directed by
Adrian Goodman
63 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Andrew Lee
3 stars

Wakey Wakey

Synopsis: Josie (Laura Wheelwright) suffers from narcolepsy. Her sister,Samantha (Fabiana Weiner) looks after her but also exploits her condition for odd photos. Their parents are missing and as reality and dream blur together Josie begins to wonder if Samantha may have done away with them.

Some films have the ability to make you nostalgic. Wakey Wakey is one of those for me. It puts me in mind of a period of my life when I had a television and a VCR at the foot of my bed, and indie film was moving into the mainstream, making itself the gateway drug to strange and wonderful cinema. I went from a friend showing me Reservoir Dogs on a bootleg VHS to hunting down obscure and unusual cinema treats like Liquid Sky. Wakey Wakey feels like one of those films I’d hear about, then track down. They were experimental, their narratives non-linear, and the cinematography moved from sublime to wonky, but they were coherent experiences. Something different to the conventional view of cinema as three act story. This is the best approach I can think of when attempting to describe a film like Wakey Wakey. I liked how over time the blurring of lines between reality and dream meant that essentially none of it mattered as a story. I liked it for the mood it created. I liked the dynamic between the sisters, caring but adversarial. But it’s a particular sort of experience and you need to like odd things to enjoy it.

So if you like strange black and white mood pieces more than you like your narrative cinema, then get yourself to a screening of Wakey Wakey. It’s a work that sits in the moment, with neither the past nor the future particularly relevant to each scene. There’s sketches of missing parents, possibly murdered, but it doesn’t matter. It’s just a collection of scenes mimicking the experience of a dream, and it’s fun.




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