To Sleep so as to Dream | Chicago Reader

To Sleep so as to Dream

This awkward title is attached to a new Japanese feature by a 26-year-old director, Kaizo Hayashi, that sounds quite fascinating. An intricate detective story involving a mysterious couple's kidnapped daughter leads the two heroes toward and apparently “into” a silent sword fight scene that was shot in 1915 but that can only be completed with their involvement. Hayashi created the silent footage himself. The film also features one of the few surviving benshis—the live, offscreen “commentators” of silent films in Japan who were often more popular than the films they accompanied, and whose influence delayed the coming of sound in Japanese cinema (1986).

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