All These Sleepless Nights [2017] – Partying Hipsters & Dancing Realizations

Michał Marczak’s “All These Sleepless Nights” opens with a monologue by its subject – Krzysztof Baginski. He is standing in the middle of his apartment looking at the wideness of Warsaw in celebration. A celebration of what? We don’t really know. We then see Baginski sink his teeth into the facts on hand. We get to know that a person spends 700 hours in his life waiting for something to happen. The entire monologue, though not life-changing or even philosophical, somehow sums up everything about the youth of today.

If you look at the film in all it’s actuality, it might seem like a meandering exercise into nothing. But as Marczak, himself puts it – the film captures the essence, the vibrancy, the craziness and splendor of youth. Looking back at my life, the most trivial things have been the real life-altering moments. Marczak presents these trivial moments in the most hypnotic form of docu-fiction format you can imagine. While there’s a ton of written drama, the narrative echoes right on the edge of being preachy and being absolutely life-like. Which fits right into the kind of dramatic arc that the director aims for. 


On the onset itself, we understand and remember how most of the memories of our lives are from the part of our adolescence. Especially the part where they turn onto one another as we grow up just a little bit. In the film, two polish twenty-something are seen fleeting through Warsaw trying to fit into the vibrant youthful malice where loneliness feels like a curse. Playing himself, Krzysztof Baginski is Marczak’s trigger point into the lucid dreamlike life of the young. The twenties are mostly about a lot of things. Figuring life out and falling in and out of love is merely a part of it. Time floats seamlessly in Marczak’s film. Which is why these breakups, patch-ups, and fuckups feel more than just things as they are essentially a look back from a liberated and self-realized state in time. 

The film is essentially a testement to what it is like being young. Where you are at the parties but your mind is stuck with some girl that you yourself had let go. The film calibrates the feverish embrace of a Terrence Malick film which is drenched in a Gasper Noe nightmare. It also feels and pulls you towards the early Wong-Kar Wai films, especially bringing back memories of Days Of Being Wild. But it also feels incredibly original. Possibly because of its unique docu-drama structure. 

However, In my opinion, “All These Sleepless Nights” achieves what the films of the French New Wave achieved. It regulates, re-invents, and subtly revolutionizes the docu-drama genre with its unique touch and a rare understanding of its thematic elements. It does the incredible feat of faking fiction and constructing reality at the same time.


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