Krzysztof walks into an open room. The music hits his emotionally drained face. Early morning light creeps through the windows. He dons his best James Dean get-up, and his cheekbones could cut diamonds. Potential mates flood his vision. He’s the type one would assume could go to a party, snatch up a lucky girl, and bounce in seconds flat. The camera follows him to convey that he is alone in a sea of people.
His story isn’t news. We never see what he does during the daytime because it holds no gravitas. It’s a mere distraction from going out every night. He has a destination in life, but is nowhere close to grasping it. He dances around, trying to come into orbit of another person.
All These Sleepless Nights is part documentary and part narrative film. To know what is fiction or reality is not obvious. Everything runs together, like every night of Krzysztof’s life. Objects of his infatuation come and go without much notice. Philosophical babble with strangers at 3 a.m. reach him until it becomes muddled ramblings once the sun rises.
We follow Krzysztof and his friend/roommate Michal as they drift from party to party in Warsaw. They have arguments about women, career paths and everything under the moon.
Terrence Malick is the obvious influence here. Director Michal Marczak pulls from Malick’s recent rulebook: images painted homogenous to ones shot by Emmanuel Lubezki, a loose story and a lost main character in vein of “Knight of Cups.”
“Song to Song” became a huge question mark to film critics as it seemed Malick was losing everything that made him stand out in the first place.
“All These Sleepless Nights” is everything Malick wished he was making — Marczak even uses Malick’s techniques better than Malick at times. But the film suffers from too much meandering of characters who have exhausted their time onscreen.
Again, Krzysztof’s story isn’t an investing story that begs to be told. It’s what a large majority of twenty-somethings have dealt with a thousand times over: stalling creativity and ignorant tranquility of their impending adulthood.
Yet it’s more than an acquaintance drunk-dialing you to discuss their existential crisis. It lets you in on Krzysztof’s life without establishing a need to console him or empathize.
Marczak crafted a loosely-structured film that surprisingly works. In a film with enviously attractive characters dealing with truly “first world problems,” it’s very easy to have the audience rolling their eyes at their “misfortune.”
It gives you the feeling of following a beautiful woman through the streets after hours of bonding at a random party. She looks over her shoulder and extends her hand. All you can do is laugh and go along with whatever comes next, because you don’t know what else you should be doing and nothing else sounds better.
All These Sleepless Nights begins showing at the OKC MOA starting May 19th.
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