There aren’t enough movies like Sleepwalk with Me. Mike Birbiglia’s one-man-show-performance now turned narrative feature is smart, funny, sad and just downright great. Birbiglia uses his own autobiographical experiences dealing with a sleepwalking disorder to comment on the uncertainties of forming a career and the dissolution of a relationship. It’s a film that isn’t afraid to paint Birbiglia in a less than flattering light – and it feels all the more honest and true because of it. Sleepwalk with Me is easily among the best indies released this year and one of the best of the now winding down summer – which is why it’s unfortunate that Joss Whedon, director of the biggest film of the year (i.e. The Avengers), has put it upon himself to take down this little film. See here for filmic proof. I guess the multiplexes just aren’t big enough for the both of them. And to add insult to injury – the week Sleepwalk with Me opens in twenty-five cities (check your local listings), Marvel re-releases The Avengers. Coincidence – I think not.
In the following interview, Birbiglia and producer Ira Glass (This American Life) respond to Whedon’s promotions (err… attacks) on their film, challenge the billion dollar gross of The Avengers and discuss the plight of taking your shirt off on film for a buck or two. For the full interview, hit the jump.
Mike Birbiglia and Ira Glass:
- 00:00 – On Joss Whedon’s ‘teardown’ of Sleepwalk with Me
- 00:45 – On how they plan to beat The Avengers box office gross
- 01:45 – Why they’re on the rise and Joss Whedon will crash and burn
- 02:15 – Why turn a one-man monologue into the format of a narrative feature?
- 03:20 – How they got such an eclectic cast – Carol Kane, James Rebhorn and Lauren Ambrose – involved…
- 03:58 – On playing the ‘uglier’ sides of oneself for the film