Directed by: #ChrisGervais
One of the positives to come out of the pandemic has been the new experimental pieces of art many people have created. These artistic endeavours are often unique and inventive ways to tell stories, all in the confines of the artist’s home, and moreover, often these are stories that reflect our current situation, telling stories, that a year ago, didn’t have to told. Bet You Don’t Even Sleep At Night is one of said films, an experimental short film created during the pandemic that is simple short film of 3 separate days during the pandemic.
The film is a minimalistic portrayal of 3 views into the outdoors from a house, intercut with death tolls due to COVID-19 in Maine. The film is reminiscent of some of Andy Warhol’s work, a conceptually simple idea that puts the viewer in the director’s point of view and asks them to add meaning to what they’re observing. It simply places you in 3 views with natural sound and no cuts and challenges the viewer to interpret what they’re seeing on the screen. Audiences may leave this film with completely differing opinions or even experiences, as it is all on the viewer to construct the narrative or to understand what the director is trying to convey.
The film is a product of the time it was made it, the natural views out of windows and doors with birds chirping and people talking in the background would normally be quite soothing and relaxing , like a visual headspace session, but the hard cuts to the death tolls of the virus paints these mundane views in a different light. We as the audience understand that this is most likely someone stuck in lockdown, staring out to the outside world, as the virus still rages on while they are unable to enjoy the outdoors. The cuts also explicitly make viewers think of the damage the virus has done to the world, a once simple view to the outdoors now holds a different meaning.
While an enjoyable watch, there’s little more to this film and relies on the viewer to impose a meaning to it. Any subtleties that could’ve been implied using lighting or colours were not utilised in a cinematically enhancing way, the film simply gave us a view of someone gazing out into the world outside, which unfortunately is a view we’re all too used to at the moment.