Premier - Los Angeles
March 16, 2009
Perfect Sleep, a noir film, was premiered this weekend in Los Angeles, California and it was my pleasure to be present for Saturday night's full house! Noir films are likened after the stylish Hollywood black and white crime movies of the forties and fifties and Perfect Sleep certainly had that going for it. The Narrator, whom they refer to as the "unnamed man" was the creation of writer/actor, Anton Pardoe, and he also, very skillfully, took on the characterization of both parts.
Being my first experience with noir films, and after viewing the trailers, I was not prepared for the entanglements of the characters. My best description would be the quotation "Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!"
Based around an extended Russian family tree of two brothers, Nikolai and Sergei, and their children, the Narrator and Porphyria, the tangle of lives and circumstances include love, marriage, murderous ambush sequences, suicides, and what I would consider mob like activities. The storyline requires your full attention, and even then, I would like to watch it again to catch the subtle innuendos I am sure I missed with the first viewing.
Michael Pare's character, Officer Pavlovich, is basically a good cop who knows all too well of the family's predisposition to violence, and warns the Narrator, to keep the "problems" on their private property and he will not take action, but, if it goes to the streets, it will be a different playing field.
Michael takes his character, and works his magic, with strength, a bit of humor and of course his charm. His final scene, clothed in what I would equate to a swat uniform of camouflage, tall, laced, military style boots, and weapon drawn, he leaves a fond memory of the Perfect Sleep for his fans.
In addition, Patrick Bauchau, as Nikolai; Roselyn Sanchez, Porphyria; and Tony Amendola, as Dr. Sebastian, a truly demented physician who sidelines as a hit man, all gave impressive performances.
We don't see Michael as much as we might like, but the story has great depth and requires one to pay attention and actually think about the subsequent facet of that tangled web.
The film was shot in the Los Angeles and Palm Springs (the wind turbines) areas of California. To reinforce the noir aspect, the incredible building you see was built in 1893 and has a celebrated history that was incorporated into the storyline.
In listening to the director, Jeremy Alter, and writer/actor Anton Pardoe, and the cinematographer, during the question and answer session after the movie, it was a true labor of love, passion, and hard work to bring it all together.
by Sandy Marcum, Senior Editor