A rarity amongst films: WebcamMurder.com deliberately aims to put you to sleep
WebcamMurder.com, a 2006 independent film written and directed by Sondra Lowell, is a comedy that was conceived with a noble purpose: to "get our rushed, compulsive, stressed-out 21st century culture to slow down a bit and experience the rest and cellular renewal that only sleeping through a movie can bring."
"As for the theme and message of my own first feature, it's to encourage fans and other viewers to get more sleep. By sleeping through my movie," said Ms. Lowell.
The film makes no pretense about its primary purpose: "That's why we don't want to stress you out with a lot of action. Or a plot. Or character arcs or any of that other stuff you learned in film school. That's our mission. To not disturb your sleep. "
To compliment her film, Ms. Lowell has written an e-book, How to Make a Movie That Puts the Audience to Sleep: A Home Study Course, and also writes a blog about WebcamMurder.com.
It's rare for a filmmaker to acknowledge that film lovers want to watch so many movies, but we live our lives with little down-time to actually enjoy a film, or with little down-time, period. Some of my favorite movies are directed with a soothing pace; not every film should be like Cloverfield. As it is, sometimes the only way I get to watch many of the movies I rent through Netflix is to watch them in parts. I'll watch them late at night, after a hurried day, until I feel drowsy. If I decide to watch a movie in parts, it will usually take two, sometimes three, sittings to watch it through completion. I think Ms. Lowell is on to something. Without having to go to the degree Ms. Lowell has embraced, maybe filmmakers should consider making films in two or three acts, with deliberate intermissions -- precise points where we can safely pause a movie if we only have 45 to 60 minutes at a time to watch a movie.
The redeeming social commentary in WebcamMurder.com about our conflicting work-life balance issues applies to us all. We have to find more serenity in our hectic lives.
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