Being a trustafarian in Poland isn’t so bad. Take drugs, dance, talk some philosophy, spend time bored, sleep at sunup and repeat. It also doesn’t make for the best film experience. Watching the wasted in All These Sleepless Nights had me squirming in my seat wondering why I should care about these two yo-yos and their empty lives.
The premise of Michal Marczak’s film is that Krzys is untethered at the loss of his girlfriend Monika. He lives with his posh friend Michal in an empty apartment save for the mattress on the floor and a couch that neither of them is allowed to have sex or masturbate on. Michal has a massive house to himself somewhere else. The two of them meander from party to rave to party, flailing about, creeping on girls, and taking drugs. At least the music is good.
Krzys hooks up with Eva, Michal’s free spirited ex. She too is a trustafarian who spurts nonsense that sounds profound. Sadly, Michal and Krzys’ friendship falters, even as Krzys finds himself unable to stay attached to Eva. He drifts deeper into a pointless oblivion, dancing his meaningless way into the future.
What works here is the gorgeous series of shots and the innocence of the kids. These are not evil doers. They just want something that seems to elude them. I jokingly think, “work.” But upon reflection — anything and everything eludes them — they don’t play video games, they don’t shop, they don’t watch television, they don’t read, they don’t call their families, they don’t make anything. The closest they ever come to being interesting is when Krsyz dresses up in a pink bunny suit and announces a nice message to each person who passes him in a park.
Marczak captures a generation without history, without direction, without any sense that life can be worthwhile. They talk the fringes of philosophy like all stoners do, considering life’s purpose and making profound statements like “Every month with a Friday the 13th has to start on a Saturday.” It sounds like its replete with meaning until you stop and think about it. There is no fear, no malice, no rage. There is a search for love, but it’s only as an abstract concept. They want to be loved, but any attempt to practice connection dissolves into the same old same old of cocaine and blunts. At least in past generations, those who dropped out were angry, dissatisfied with the status quo and strictures of society. These drop-outs don’t even seem to contemplate that. They’re boring and I was glad this was just 102 minutes before I could get back to making my own life happen.
All These Sleepless Nights played at the RIDM. The festival continues until November 20. Schedule and tickets HERE.