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Like Blade Runner and other big-brained sci-fi flicks, it's about ideas... A radical vision of a troubling tomorrow --Wired
Adventurous, ambitious, and ingeniously futuristic! Science fiction with social commentary... --Kenneth Turan, LA Times
Top Customer Reviews
The Future of Science Fiction 5*
I have seen the future of science fiction, and it is good, at least if this film has the influence it so richly deserves. Written science fiction is about so much more than the space opera and bug eyed monster tales and post-apocalyptic gotterdammerung that form the bulk of filmic "sci fi" that it is good to see the film world catching up. There have always been a few "real" science fiction movies that break the mold -- "A Boy and His Dog", "2001", "Blade Runner", even "Charly" (though that butchered the original wonderful Daniel Keys novella, the intent was there) come to mind. But most of those refer back to classic science fiction written works. What is great about "Sleep Dealer" is that it takes the vision of good written SF, with an original plot and theme, mixes it with the vocabulary of the special effects driven films that dominate the science fiction theater, and comes out with something wonderful. I hope this is an indication that the new generation of writers and directors (and not just Hollywood budget types, but independent and "foreign" cinematographers) have absorbed this vocabulary to the point where it is simply another tool in their repertoir, and will continue to use it judiciously to tell a new generation of adult science fiction tales.
Sleep Dealer combines a cyberpunk vision of the near future with a clear social vision and a dynamite plot and characterizations. Memo (Fernando Pena, with a tilde) is a young man in a remote and dusty Oaxacan village, Santa Ana del Rio. His father struggles on to raise crops on the ancestral plot since a gringo corporation dammed the local river ...Read more ›
The major plot elements seem familiar - traditional society failing under pressure from the modern work, and the boy trying to support his family by working in the big city. A relatively recent stereotype appears, too: the soldier who we come to respect, even when he fights in a war that we don't.
This succeeds at many levels. It can be seen as an anti-American, anti-corporate diatribe, or as a grim extrapolation of today's headlines. Either way, it carries reminders that people will still reach out to each other, and that personal honor will continue to have meaning.
However, a film from 2008 completely slipped past me in this regards. As closely as I follow science fiction in particular, I was surprised that I’d never even heard of SLEEP DEALER. Still, given the film’s politics – or, at least, the particular leanings of the project’s writer/director – it probably didn’t get much coverage from media outlets I tend to frequent these days.
(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of plot and/or characters. If you’re the type of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I’d encourage you to skip down to the last two paragraphs for my final assessment. If, however, you’re accepting of a few modest hints at ‘things to come,’ then read on …)
In the near future, major countries around the world have taken a definitive stand against terrorism, and they’ve completely secured their borders.Read more ›
One scene that I can relate to is where Memo and Luz are at a rivers edge discussing life with his head in her lap. Even though this takes place in Mexico, I spent some time with my girl in a similar riverbed (Los Angeles) where it crosses with the San Jacinto River near a small park named Ford. Therefore, this had a more personal flair for me.
This is not a simple movie as not only stories overlapping but also the technology needed to tell the story is a collage of many sci-fi movies from before. I was interested in the main characters as a story however according to the voice over it is more of a political movement using technology against its self. They bend the system.
You will find a message for everyone on different levels. I think you will get the Memo.
You definitely need to see the two DVD extras "before the making of Sleep Dealer" which is almost a mini-tutorial on how to build and market a movie, and the voice over (in English) which tells all the nitty-gritty details of the movie including a more intricate use of resources. We learn that the war strike scenes are real footage from the net as are many of the other scenes and some verbiage is modeled on apache helicopter kill communications from u-tube.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Watched this class for elements of mise-en-scene for my college's aesthetics of cinema course. Had many great examples.Published 5 months ago by Jeremy Bloom
I watched this for a Spanish class in college and loved it! Relevant example of dystopia fiction in a globalized economy and awesome special effects and scenery.Published 7 months ago by Sarah@Ill
Sleep Dealer is underwhelming if one reads some of the reviews posted about it. The filmmaking is amateurish and some of the effects are poor. Read morePublished 9 months ago by rbrogan3
Great low budget Science Fiction full of ideas. What a great idea cyber-braceros is, and placed in a really gritty realistic setting without a lot of bells and whistles. Read morePublished 11 months ago by PJR
"Sleep Dealer"(2008) is directed by Alex Rivera. This sci-fi film is about a man who leaves his small village after his father is killed by a drone. Read morePublished 11 months ago by G. Edmonson
"Sleep Dealer", dir. Alex Rivera, 2008
A tight little cyberpunk film delivering high value for a low budget. Read more
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