RAN SLAVIN

Call For Dreams / film

 

Available to stream now on https://vimeo.com/ondemand/callfordreams

 

a film by Ran Slavin
81 minutes. Mystery, Noir, thriller
Languages: Japanese, English, Hebrew Subtitles: English

 

Set against the backdrop of a Noir-esque Tokyo, Call for Dreams deals with themes of identity, consciousness, and the choices of what reality to believe. After placing an ad in the paper asking strangers to call with details of their dreams, Eko (Mami Shimazaki) travels throughout a labyrinth of neon surrealism as the viewer is left wondering what is a dream and what is real. Shifting through dreams of the bizarre nightclubs, smoke-filled hotel rooms, white rooms, and gunshots, Call for Dreams takes the viewer into a dream-like state of hypnosis from scene to scene. More often than not, the movie asks the audience to decide if what they are seeing is actually happening or if everything is all in the mind of Eko, or within the mind of the dream itself.

As Eko receives more messages from dreamers, the story begins to parallel a possible homicide investigation concerning one of Eko’s dreamers and the tapes she keeps of all their confessions. Shifting scene to scene, Eko performs each dream or reality along with her caller creating more of a web-like stream of consciousness than a traditional story arch. The film’s conclusion leaves the viewer in ambiguity with the closing “is the dreamer dreaming the dream or the dream dreaming the dreamer.”

Director Ran Slavin’s use of visuals and lighting is on full display throughout the hypnotic, mysterious drama. Using similar pallets to Blade Runner or Akira creates a dark landscape to depict a neon-soaked Alice in Wonderland of dreams and existentialism. Shimazaki expands on these Neo-Noir tropes with a cold and calculated performance, allowing the film’s images and moods to shift with each dream and each new consciousness.

I found this movie to be a very immersive experience as it takes you further and further into the dream state of Eko. The film raises interesting questions about conscious reality, and parallel timelines without taking away from the visual storytelling. If you go into this film expecting a clear three-act structure, this will probably be very strange, as the moments the barriers between dream and reality collide are intentionally confusing, especially on first viewings.

Despite these moments of confusion, Call for Dreams takes you on a hypnotic journey into a world of neon lights, surrealist storytelling, and questioning reality. If you are a fan of David Lynch and cyberpunk aesthetics, this film was made for you and will leave you excited for repeated viewings.

By Josiah Teal | July 25, 2020

 

Is the dreamer dreaming the dream or is the dream dreaming the dreamer? More than a disturbing message left on the answering machine of an Israeli detective, the beginning of the film is almost a statement of principles. Like dreams, this explicitly oneiric film plays with chronology and mixes up people and places. It is night in a Tokyo dwarfed by neon lights. It is raining. Eko has placed an ad in the paper looking for people willing to tell him about their dreams, so he can stage a performance of sorts with those who have had the strangest ones. The home “therapy” he offers takes him into the entrails of a visually magnetic city, transformed into a different character every day. Meanwhile, the detective investigates and dreams. Or does he dream he is investigating? We live the reality we choose to live. We have the ability to transform, or in some cases deform our memories so we can live with them. The realm of dreams, with its illogic logic, is suited to philosophy and fertile ground for creating images of hypnotic beauty, like the unforgettable atmospheres of this film. (From the (59th Ficci The International Film Festival of Cartagena De Indias, Colombia festival catalogue)

 

Film credits:
Countries: Israel, Japan
Duration: 81 minutes
Languages: Japanese, English, Hebrew
Available subtitles: English, Hebrew, Italian, Spanish
Director, writer: Ran Slavin
Producer: Ronen Ben Tal
Executive Producers: Ran Slavin, Tomer Almagor
Associate producer: Merav Ktorza
Produced by Plan B Productions in association with Nocturnal Rainbow Films
Cinematography: Ran Slavin, Maayan Blech, Yuri Gershberg, Neil Cohen
Cast: Mami Shimazaki, Yehezkel Lazarov, Yuval Robichek, Oleg Levin, Olga Kurkulina
Harue Masuda, Takanori Kawaharada, Akila Kawamura, Chiaki Horita, Tsuneyoshi Ichihara, Chen Wei Lee, Mariko Kakizaki, Roee Adar
Distribution: Indie Rights

 

More info:
ranslavin.com/callfordreams/
imdb.com/title/tt7520672/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

 

Festivals:

Mitspe Ramon Film Festival, Israel 2022
Picknic Film Festival, Cantbaria, Spain 2022
OTB film awards Miami, winner best experimental 2022
Ravenna Nightmare Film Festival, Italy 2021
Deep Focus Film Festival, Brooklyn, NY 2021 (honorable mention)
Lift Off Film Festival 2021. London
2nd Dreamers Of Dreams Film Festival 2020 UK (winner best of the festival award)
3rd UAF Urban Audio-Visual Film Festival, Lisbon 2020.
Uk Film Review Film Festival, 2020, UK
10th Cinefantasy International Fantastic Film Festival São Paulo, Brazil
7th FICLAPAZ – La Paz International Film Festival, Bolivia (winner best narrative fiction)
16th ADAF Athens Digital Arts Festival, Greece
9th AVIFF Cannes Art Film Festival, France (winner-online award)
59th Ficci, The International Film Festival of Cartagena De Indias, Cartagena, Colombia
22nd Shanghai International Film Festival (market)
1st Through the Looking Glass International Film Festival Milano
12th Cinalfama Film Festival, Lisbon
7th Asian Film Festival Barcelona, Official Panorama Section,
23rd UK Jewish Film Festival, London
17th Mindanao Film Festival, Philippines
9th Nunes International Film Festival, Barcelona
7th Cine Kasimanwa, The western Visayas Film Festival, Philippines
34th Haifa International Film Festival, Israel
22nd POFF Black Nights Film Festival at Rebels With a Cause Competition, Tallinn – Estonia
26th Camerimage Film Festival at the Directors Debut & Cinematographers Debut Competitions, Poland
4th Utopia Film Festival, official selection (winner The Golem Award for Best Feature-Length Film) Israel
13th Ecu The European Independent Film Festival (winner best actress)
17th Cinema South International Film Festival, Israel
Academy nomination (Ophir Awards) best production design, Israel

 

 

Recent works

Paradise Now

SWELL / mini series

6480 Days / film

Four Dreams

The New Artificial Jew

Temporary Intervention / installation

Newtopia / digital outdoor show

Screenings in Times Square NYC

Solo show, Beita Gallery / installation

Battlefields / installation

The Floating Life / installation

In The Moment