They say never to start a film with the shot of an alarm clock. ‘They’ often say not to do a lot of things. Thankfully director Ivan Barge didn’t follow their advice. Snooze Time, written by Matthew Harris is a wonderfully meditative narrative montage following a couple from the beginning of their relationship and throughout their lives.
Barge makes us feel as though we are genuinely sitting back and intimately observing what is on screen. Much of this is attributable to the hypnotic score by Justyn Pilbrow. The shots and sequences are so personal and natural we wind up being gently carried through their narrative. The cinematography assures there is a perfect balance between distance and intimacy that grants us permission to gaze upon the characters both as witnesses and participants in the events in their lives.
Overall there is a great amount of structural complexity to Snooze Time. On the one hand the narrative concept is quite simple and easy to understand. On the other there is a much greater depth and Barge does a fantastic job of allowing this depth to be as present as it needs to be and doing so subtly with cinematic finesse.
Additionally, the small details in the film really give us the sense that we too are progressing through time. Barge and his team went through great lengths to make certain every aspect and every transition through time felt truly genuine. Barge tells us “With the art department Michael Williams had the arduous task of sourcing a truck load of period props, for a very pedantic director, it was important to me that all the art elements told a story, alone there were meaningless, but together they signposted the road ahead. This is particularly prevalent in the stills montage, where in each set up, the wardrobe and every prop from the books, computer games and stickers all denote a specific year.”
It is difficult for us not to project our own memories and experiences into these characters. We can identify with what is seen on screen from our own lives. And for the events that take place we have yet to experience, it can be said with confidence that if it hasn’t happened to us, it has happened to someone close to us and are able to sympathize with the characters we follow on screen.