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Pretentious Movie Alert: The Sleepiest Films of All Time

Perhaps the biggest compliment I personally can give a film is how wonderful of a nap I can get from watching it. And, in general, the realm of pretentious film has created a great opportunity to allow me to snooze. Seriously, pretentious filmmakers know the art of making me nap. And a Qualler who naps is a Qualler who is greatly satisfied. After watching the sorta-pretentious-but-not-quite-pretentious-enough-to-be-in-this-blog-feature-cuz-it-was-directed-by-Sam "Morlock" Mendes Away We Go this weekend (abbreviated Qualler opinion -- very enjoyable albeit occasionally tonally inconsistent but the visuals were outstanding and the performances entertaining, a good mix of twee and real adult emotions, and the post-core reverberations were transcendant), Brigitte and I came home and fell asleep to Sigur Rós: Heima, the concert movie that had been sitting on our DVR for too long of a time. And believe me -- it was the greatest nap movie ever. Ever. In honor of that title, here are a list of my fave nap movies ever (and others that aren't as conducive to sleepytime.)



Sigur Rós: Heima
Here are the elements that make up the best sleepytime ever. 1) Beautiful music - check. Obviously, Sigur Ros makes the most gorgeous music on the planet, so you got that one down. 2) Lack of integral plot - mega-check. It's a concert movie, and the "plot" is that Sigur Ros is playing at a lot of different locations in Iceland. 3) Pretty visuals - super-duper check. Between times my eyes were closed, I opened them to visuals such as adorable children watching them play an acoustic song live, shots of Iceland's natural land beauties, pretty lights, and so on. 4) Comforting early-sleep dreams - definite check. Between naps, I had dreams about snuggling adorable babies, playing golf in cave-like locations (which doesn't sound that comforting in my conscious state but was extremely comforting in my dream), and also puppies. I highly recommend viewing this fine film when ready to nap.

Other highly recommended naptime movies...



Gerry
There's slightly more plot to Gus Van Sant's Gerry than there is to Sigur Ros: Heima, but only slightly moreso. Casey Affleck and Matt Damon walk around the wilderness, while the most conflict they encounter is pretty much just the part where one of them is on a really big rock and they have to get off of it. But the aspects that make it a great nap movie -- lack of important plot, relaxing music, and stunning visuals, are all in abundancy here. The only downer is it's kind of a downer of a movie.



The Thin Red Line
This one can also be filed under "downer", and there's a lot more plot here to keep track of than what would make a perfect nap movie, plus the obnoxious war sounds that interrupt a nature-shot-induced nap. But the last 20 minutes or so of the film, complete with the credit sequence set above some splashing waves, make it a very satisfying, if a little sad, nap time at the end. Also, the whisper-like existential inner thoughts of the characters is totes relaxing.

WALL-E, At A Drive-In On A Sleeping Bag In The Back of a Pick-up Truck
This is not a very good nap movie for the entire second half, but it's extremely nap-inducing while laying on a sleeping back in the back of a pick-up truck. And when you wake up, there's a cool breeze and the stars overhead. Now, the sleeping arm that you slept on uncomfortably is a different story. Still, very satisfying experience.

Not good nap movies:



Eraserhead
The lack of integral plot and stunning visuals of David Lynch's Eraserhead make this movie seem to be, on the surface, an ideal nap pic. Don't fall into this trap, though. The visuals, while stunning overall, induce very bad, disturbing dreams between frames, the music is creepy, and the whole movie is the opposite of "feel-good". Brigitte fell asleep at this movie at a Midnight screening, and she had to leave the theater for the last 15 minutes due to disturbing dreams had while watching. Watch this movie, but don't watch it anywhere approaching sleep.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Obviously this is a great film, but the very integral, very thought-provoking implications of the plot, what with all the time-travel implications and traps, combined with Ed Furlong's uglyass haircut, the stunning-yet-disturbing SFX, and the really, really, incredibly loud nature of this film makes it a terrible film to watch while tired. I watched this at Chris' place a couple weeks ago and was extremely tired, so I couldn't help but sleep, but it was difficult to do so what with all the loudness. Still, at least I felt good when I woke up at the end and saw the very uplifting ending.

What are some of your favorite nap films? What about the ones that are your least favorite nap films?

p.s. Check out Sean's new cartoon below -- it's well worth your time.

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  1. Blogger chris | 9:12 AM |  

    I like Away We Go the more I think about it. What do you think was tonally inconsistent? Other than a couple sentimental monologues, I felt the flow between goofy comedy and touching reflection was very life-like. (If this bothered you though, be warned about In Bruges - it does this to an extreme degree.) And don't even get me started on the post-core reverberations!

    Well of course the king of all nap movies is the one that started it all - 2001!

    Also, we watched Solaris yesterday, which rules, but if I was sleepier I definitely would have had an awesome nap.

  2. Blogger qualler | 9:41 AM |  

    Maybe "inconsistent" is the wrong word -- more like the sudden shifts in tone made my head spin. Main example I can think of is Maya Rudolph and her sister having a really emotional conversation in a bathtub showroom, followed by the scene where the airline employees all looked at her pregnant belly and didn't think she was 6 months pregnant. The shift from super heartwarming to sitcom-style laffs didn't do the trick for me as much.

    I would have to say 2001 would be the perfect nap movie if not for the somewhat disturbing/scary imagery of Dave going through the wormhole thing at the end. Catching a glimpse of that between snoozes would not encourage good naps for me. And HAL's creepy voice would inevitably creep into my subconscious as well. That's why the Sigur Ros film was so perfect -- no conflict, only pretty imagery and music, no plot to keep track of, etc.

  3. Blogger P. Arty | 9:54 AM |  

    Nice post. I love Nap Movies. Heima and The Thin Red Line are both nearly impossible to beat. My new favorite is the Fountain.

  4. Blogger qualler | 10:01 AM |  

    Whoa, The Fountain -- I've had two awesome naps to that movie. Good call, P.Arty!

  5. Blogger Lady Amy | 11:28 AM |  

    I liked "Away We Go,": but I understand about the inconsistency.

    But then again, I thought we were seeing "Up" until about 2 minutes into the movie when it didn't turn to animation like I expected.

  6. Blogger qualler | 11:34 AM |  

    Don't get me wrong -- I did indeed like Away We Go as well. We should also see the movie "What Goes Up" starring Steve Coogan and Hillary Duff in a drama that got a 22 on Metacritic, so we can see the trifecta of "Up" movies and complete this sentence: "What goes up, up and away we go!"

  7. Blogger nicole | 4:11 PM |  

    Well, if a movie's got subtitles, that's pretty much an indication of an amazing nap movie. I watched a Japanese independent film about four children abandoned by their mother to live alone in an apartment, which sounds interesting, but it was literally them laying around bored and hungry (in Japanese). And, I must say, parts of Swingers, which I was, um, goaded into watching, were quite nap-worthy. And all of any Rocky film unless there's a scene with good music. I can even sleep through the fight scenes!

  8. Blogger qualler | 4:21 PM |  

    See, I can't sleep through foreign films because by default I am missing integral plot points just by having my eyes closed for a few seconds, even if I don't necessarily want to take a nap, which causes me anxiety. That Japanese film sounds like a pretty great candidate, though -- what's it called? I personally couldn't nap to either Swingers or any of the Rocky films because every time I'd wake up I'd see sweaty dudes either being neurotic about girls or beating each other up. And there are no pleasant voices in any of those films. Vince Vaughn's voice is akin to a guy coming into my bedroom and pushing me out of bed.

    The more I ponder this issue, the more I think it is difficult to truly make a perfect nap movie, which makes Sigur Ros: Heima so much more amazing. The added dimension of very pleasant mid-film-nap dreams has put it over the top for me.

  9. Blogger qualler | 4:21 PM |  

    Oh also Chris, which Solaris -- the Soderberg remake or the original?

  10. Blogger chris | 5:04 PM |  

    Soderbergh! It's only 99 minutes instead of 165. I don't think I could get through the original. The pretty 2002 short version with awesome ambient music is boring enough, but it's totally awesome. And it's got Jeremy Davies doing his scientist from Lost-type character.

  11. Blogger Papa Thor | 6:48 PM |  

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. Blogger Papa Thor | 9:50 PM |  

    Eraserhead gave me a stomach ache. The only part I liked was when that kid picked up the head, because I right away thought "Hey, a free head!" (Bonus challenge: what am I alluding to?)
    I slept through Matrix 3. Mama slept through Eyes Wide Shut. I suppose the concept of "plot" is subjective?

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