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Max Richter's Sleep

  • Documentary
  • 2019
  • Natalie Johns
  • 99 mins
  • PG

Summary

Documentary about contemporary composer Max Richter's eight-hour ambient piece Sleep, which is intended to be listened to while unconscious. Richter performs his opus for a live audience laid out in camp beds, and later explains his unique composition.

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Review

A star rating of 3 out of 5.

German-born composer Max Richter has always challenged the norms of classical music. His scores for films like Mary Queen of Scots and HBO's The Leftovers are as ambient as they are spare, but his crowning achievement is surely Sleep, an eight-and-a-half-hour lullaby Richter himself describes as a "quiet protest". This partisan documentary follows his decision to throw an ambitious, open-air concert in Los Angeles, where ticket holders are directed to camp beds and encouraged to nod off while Richter performs the title track. On a balmy Californian evening, Richter entreats attendees to "listen as you like, sleep as you like, switch off your phones and enjoy the trip". It's tricky to convey an eight-hour experience in a 90-minute film, but, through archive footage of Richter and family, plus reactions from the "woke" punters, the experience is artfully captured by Emmy-nominated director Natalie Johns. Perhaps, one day, all concerts will be like this.

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Credits

Crew

rolename
DirectorNatalie Johns

Details

Theatrical distributor
Dogwoof
Released on
2020-09-11
Formats
Colour
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