With his film that balances the precision of a Swiss watch with the messiness of a restless mind, Alan Berliner shows a uniquely personal tour through his life-long obsession with insomnia. In the spirit of his highly acclaimed experimental documentary films, Intimate Stranger (1991), Nobody’s Business (1996), and The Sweetest Sound (2001), he once again uses his own life as a laboratory – this time to confront both the anguish of his sleeplessness, and the blessing of extra time that it affords his creative life. Berliner uses both metaphor and candid firstperson observations to illuminate how an obsessive mind that won’t shut down at night leaves him feeling “jet lagged in his own time zone.” Incorporating hundreds of archival film clips, consultations with sleep specialists, an overnight stay at a sleep lab, conversations with family members, home movies and dream visualizations – all woven together by a strikingly dynamic sound design – Wide Awake is a cinematically innovative film that pushes at the borders of documentary storytelling.
Production: Experiments in Time, Light & Motion Inc.
Screenplay: Alan Berliner
Editor, producer: Alan Berliner
Cinematographer Ian Vollmer
Format: HD (shot on Mini-DV), Color and b/w
Running time: 90 minutes