“I just want to dedicate this movie for anyone who has just moved in with their girlfriends,” Mike Birbiglia deadpanned last night after the screening of his directorial debut, Sleepwalk With Me. Based on his one-man show that has been building up buzz for the past six or so years that he’s been performing it–resulting in a book, an off-Broadway show, and now a feature film– the cinematic version of Mr. Birbiglia’s story of strange sleep habits is full of pathos, comedy, and weird, weird imagery.
After premiering at Sundance, Sleepwalk was chosen to open the yearly BAMcinemaFest, an annual self-referential Brooklyn film festival in which the majority of the films feature characters suffering from New York ennui and the term “psychodrama” is used haphazardly in the blurbs. For this purpose, opening BAM’s movie week with Sleepwalk was a smart move by the festival’s organizers: it’s about a New Yorker who, for all the film’s comedy, has to deal with deeply distressing sociometry stemming from his night time behavior.
Without spoiling the plot, let’s just say that Mr. Birbiglia’s relationship comment was a tad…barbed.
But not to end the screening on a sad note, the co-host for the evening, NPR’s Ira Glass, announced a special surprise: As a giant cake decorated like a pizza was brought onstage, Mr. Glass wished Mr. Birbiglia’s a happy 34th birthday. Read More