THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP Director: MICHEL GONDRY FRANCE 2006 SUBTITLED COLOUR DOLBY/DTS DIGITAL STEREO 105 MIN. Book cinema tickets THIS IS THE LATEST FILM FROM MICHEL GONDRY, THE HUGELY TALENTED MUSIC VIDEO DIRECTOR WHO TWO YEARS AGO TEAMED UP WITH WRITER CHARLIE KAUFMAN FOR A LITTLE DITTY CALLED ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND. Aspiring artist Stephane (Gael Garcia Bernal) returns to France from Mexico at the behest of his mother, lands a deadend job working at an ad agency and finds himself falling in love with the quirky Stephanie (Charlotte Gainsbourg), who makes him so nervous he can’t even bring himself to tell her he lives in the apartment right across the hall. As in Eternal Sunshine, Gondry takes us deep into that dense matter between his protagonist’s ears, and the elaborate fantasy sequences that unfold therein rival Sunshine for their freewheeling absurdist brio: Entire cities are constructed of miniature buildings and toy cars; an anthropomorphic electric razor adds hair to your body instead of taking it away; and Stephane is indisputably master of his domain. Nobody is trying to vacuum out any of his memories, mind you, but like Jim Carrey’s Joel Barish, Stephane finds it easier to express himself in his dream life than in his waking one, especially when it comes to his love for Stephanie. I’m generally in agreement with those who feel that Gondry has a penchant to overindulge his flights of visual fancy, but the thing that makes The Science of Sleep, warts and all, one of the two or three truly indispensable films to emerge so far this year is its richly imaginative and painfully felt understanding of a generation hopelessly tongue-tied when it comes to matters of the heart.Scott Foundas. Director: MICHEL GONDRY FRANCE 2006 SUBTITLED COLOUR DOLBY/DTS DIGITAL STEREO 105 MIN.