Official selection of the 1996 San Francisco International Film Festival.
The process of film perception relies on equal parts optics, mechanics and chemistry; the experience of converging stories comes only with the specific channeling of these conditions. TUNING THE SLEEPING MACHINE suggests a psycho-physical cinema, an emulsive journey of hypnotic illusion that pulls at narrative expectation. Circulating forces of control suffuse our collective cinematic experience; this is a beautiful and daunting history. Preface: In 1895, Sigmund Freud abandons hypnosis as a viable therapeutic practice in favor of psychoanalysis. The same year, the Lumiere brothers present the first flickers of recreated life through motion pictures. "TUNING THE SLEEPING MACHINE recalls our shared experience of late-night television in which lambent images emerge from the screen and turn strange as they percolate through our half-conscious thoughts and reveries. Found footage becomes enmeshed in thick visual texture forged by optical printing. There are primal urges at work just below the threshold of recognition: a mesmerist exercises erotic control over an innocent girl, or maybe vice versa. In any event, David Sherman manipulates his found objects not to demystify, but to mine their ineffable mysteries." - Paul Arthur, Film Comment