Feature: Autumnal Sleeps


AUTUMNAL SLEEPS I Ireland, 01:10:00I Director: Michael Higgins I Art & Experimental 15 I WEBSITE

In a remote rural estate house, a woman sleeps, she is alone. It’s a time not far from the dawn of the moving image, the obsessed and wealthy Dr. Epstein engineers a number of scientific experiments. He subjects his adopted children, Pete and Re-Pete, along with his darling flapper, Baby Dee, to his various scientific tasks. Things take a decidedly strange turn when Epstein makes a deal with some shifty-looking vagabonds. On doing so he opens a door to the unknown, ruptures the fabric of time and unleashes a shadow-like character bent on reducing all those he encounters to dust.

Michael Higgins – “the Vagabond of Experimental Film Society” (according to Donal Foreman) – demonstrates the magic of creating hypnotizing moving images on an expired 35mm film loaded into a 50-yo Soviet camera!

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Michael Higgins is a filmmaker best known for his analogue film work. He is interested in using the filmmaking process to rupture the reality of the everyday, skewing documentary and fiction in order to highlight alternative ways of seeing and experiencing.

Photographed on expired 35mm film with a 50year old Soviet camera, Autumnal Sleeps takes inspiration from early silent cinema. The characters and the nature of performance resemble those from a roadshow attraction while highlighting the illusory power of voyeurism and exhibitionism. Like unrestored film of early cinema, the image flickers and the colours bleed creating a psychedelic sensation as one transported through a haunting industrial score broken up with poetic interludes that examine the deeper emotions of the characters. Autumnal Sleeps was supported by The Arts Council of Ireland and Experimental Film Society.

Total Streaming Time: 01:10.00. Please note, some content may be unsuitable for children under 15 years of age. VIMEO links will go live from 12am ET (Eastern Time) on the 19th November 2021.