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Sara Driver, 1986
USA | Format: Digital | 78 minutes
Director Sara Driver in person for Q&A!
A beguiling and enigmatic nocturnal adventure set in New York’s no-man’s land, at the intersection of SoHo, Chinatown, and Tribeca, Sara Driver’s first feature begins in mundane daily life but imperceptibly drifts into the dreamlike realm of the trance film. Single mother Nicole (Suzanne Fletcher), a typesetter who happens to speak fluent Mandarin, is hired by mysterious mystic teacher Dr. Gou (Stephen Chen) to translate an equally mysterious manuscript. Almost immediately unexplained, vaguely portentous events and encounters proliferate around Nicole, to increasingly spooky effect. This sense of the city as a ghostly, emptied-out multicultural space containing infinite potential for the strange and the happenstance not only shapes the film but is effectively its subject.Twenty-five years later, Sleepwalk is also now a time capsule of the mid-Eighties, pre-gentrification downtown cityscape and its denizens, with appearances by Ann Magnuson as Nicole’s conniving French roommate who has a Sam Fuller–esque bad hair day, Tony (Candyman) Todd, and a reed-thin, blink-and-you’ll-miss-him Steve Buscemi.