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© 2016 by Bucharest ShortCut CineFest. All rights reserved.

FILM REVIEW

'CAN'T SLEEP'
- Directed by Aaron Moloney -

Elenay is a young boy who struggles with insomnia. He may be about 10 years old thanks to his walls full of drawings, mostly with cars. This may be his favorite subject when comes to drawing or it can also be his addiction. Pictured only at night, the low-key lighting coming from various sources makes the scene more intimate, as we get to see just certain parts of the boy’s house. He may be shy or tired of getting through this every night. The dark circles around his eyes and always having his hood on are also elements that enhance the fatigue state in which the boy got till that moment.

The director aims to achieve a certain effect by using various shots in order to reveal the character’s feelings and follows him using a hand-held camera. The over-the-shoulder shots include the viewers in the action and the camera operations describe the character indirectly, so we can empathize more and more with the kid’s state of mind. The atmosphere seems sad, dusty and full of overthinking, underlying the boy’s exhausted condition. The most notable aspect of this music video is  how close to reality it is. The main actor does a very good job, being fervently and giving the character much personality. He is very convincing, even he may not be a professional actor, the performance is still remarkable. The story as it’s structured is very dramatic but, at the same time, arouse curiosity making you want to hope that the kid will not remain in that deplorable state where he is sleep deprived. He tries to draw, to look all around the walls, even to eat in the middle of the night, but nothing seems to calm him down.

In the end, the boy becomes aware of his addiction and decides to free himself from this situation, a moment which is very beautifully captured by the director’s point of view. All that tension that occupied the boy’s mind and walls is finally released and this is how an intelligent yet quite simple music video works perfectly for its soundtrack. In the beginning you don’t even guess that you’re going to watch a music video and maybe that’s a very important part in this short film. The music blends so well with the video and makes you concentrate on the story in an audiovisual way. "Can’t sleep" is an emotionally strong film and a true piece of filmmaking that manages to create a moving portrait of a young boy who suffers of insomnia, but all this in a very artistic way.