While the eclectic electronic music of Richard D. James (or as we better know him, Aphex Twin) has appeared in numerous films over the years (Marie Antoinette for one), it is only with Gideon Koppel’s award-winning Welsh documentary, Sleep Furiously, that he has approved of an entire feature score utilizing his music. And that film premieres in the U.S. on Friday, July 29th at Cinema Village in New York City. Other cities will follow. The Aphex Twin music that appears in the film centers around “Avril 14,” a gentle piano instrumental by James that surfaces repeatedly, along with several other Aphex Twin tracks, mostly from the album Drukqs.
If you can’t get your butt down to Cinema Village, Fandor.com will be showing Sleep Furiously online for 24 hours on the same day. Additionally, the short film that was the genesis for the documentary, A Sketchbook for the Library Van, will also be available for viewing at Fandor.com on and beyond opening day. To celebrate the premiere of Sleep Furiously, Fandor is also giving away two round-trip air tickets to Wales. Anyone who signs up for Fandor or logs into the site with Facebook is automatically entered.
I have yet to check out the film (you can watch the trailer above), but it was the winner of Best First Film from the Guardian (U.K.) and was an official selection of the Telluride, Locarno and Edinburgh film festivals. The film takes place in a small farming community in Wales, approximately 50 miles from Dylan Thomas’ fictional village of Llareggub. The director’s parents, both Jewish refugees, ultimately settled here, and the town is undergoing rapid changes as their agricultural income and their older, pre-technology generation both dwindle. Koppel leads us through this time and place of transition, as the press release states, “on a poetic journey into a world of endings and beginnings; a magical world of stuffed owls, sheep and fire featuring an inventive soundtrack by renowned musician Aphex Twin.” The film has garnered praise from Time Out New York, Sight and Sound and The Guardian (U.K.).