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To Sleep So as to Dream

1h 20m Drama, Silent 1986


New 2K Restoration! Born from the vestiges of some long forgotten dream, Kaizo Hayashi’s debut film is a hauntingly beautiful ode to the silent era that yearns for a distant past—back to an illusory world teeming with new excitements, novel invention and cryptic riddles. Under the faint glimmer of an electric lamp, an aging silver-screen starlet seeks the aid of two steadfast detectives when her darling daughter, the ethereal Bellflower, is kidnapped for ransom. The sleuths find themselves caught in a heady game of cat and mouse as they journey deeper into a sleepless realm of benshi performers, archetypal villainy and never-ending serials. Transposing the silent era’s cinematic language into a work that walks the line between antiquity and fantasy, dream and waking state, To Sleep So as to Dream casts a spell over the spectator in dream-like fashion, harking back to the magical, early days of cinema.

  • Sponichi Grand Prize New Talent Award, Mainichi Concourse 1987
  • Best Independent Film and Best New Director, Yokohama Film Festival 1987

“A red herring-strewn mystery, shot in black-and-white and almost silent, Hayashi’s debut is something like a Japanese Tintin adventure made by Alain Resnais.” —TimeOut

Streaming in the U.S. from August 20-September 2 as part of JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film 2021

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Kaizo Hayashi





Bonus Content

Introduction by Kaizo Hayashi

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