The Somniloquist – An Experimental Concept Review

The Somniloquist



This short film went viral as soon as it was launched, showing that it is possible to do something bizarre and still see success.

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Today’s film is the 2016 experimental short comedy documentary The Somniloquist written, directed and staring Adam Rosenberg.

The Somniloquist came to life when friends of Adam Rosenberg told him that he had the habit of talking in his sleep. On a lark the prolific director decided to record his midnight monologues for an entire year and then choose the most humorous and outlandish things he said and offer them up to the public to critique. The result is a amusing look into the unconscious mind of a admittedly “potty humor” inclined actor\director and does serve to offer some small grins at the nearly unintelligible babbling.

The unique feature of the Somniloquist is the fact that the only video shot for the entire film was just the set up of Adam Rosenberg sleeping, the rest of the feature was simply a blue screen with the words of his sleeping mind transcribed upon it. This is a brave choice for someone submitting a film in an industry that is by and large a visual media and really brings a uniqueness to the documentary genre. Weather this succeeds on the other hand is a different matter entirely. For a documentary to be successful it must tell a fascinating story and that almost always requires a narrator of some sort giving the viewer some information or at least the subject of the film to give insights into their thought process, The Somniloquist simply does not do this. For nearly the entire four minute run time it is just the babbling of the sleeping Adam Rosenberg with the subtitles flashing on the screen followed by a brief outro telling the audience that he believes that his ramblings are meaningless. A fine opinion I suppose but I think it is a lost opportunity for a creative mind to dissect the deeper meaning behind the rants. Several of the intelligible phrases certainly seem to have some sort of correlation with the sleeper’s day to day life and I think it would have really made the film pop more with the audience if he tried.

What little cinematography there was was shot quite nicely. The view of the sleeping Rosenberg is clear even in the dark room and was clearly indicative of the award winning director’s skill. However this is not a true film so to speak and I think that it might have been better suited sent simply as a audio file. While the credits take up most of the visual time on the film they are a bit amateurishly done, this might have been on purpose however just to add more humor to the unique concept film.

Where the Somniloquist really shines however is the audio work. Adam Rosenberg has been working on sound editing for years and it clearly shows. This film is all about sound and the very high fidelity microphone used to capture the ramblings of the sleeping director is simply wonderful. Normally when you sleep there is always ambient sound around and yet Rosenberg manages to eliminate everything save for his voice in a truly professional way allowing the listening to clearly hear each and every babbling rant with crystal clear perfection. The musical choices for the credits and the background of the audio is cheery and cheeky, very fitting for the comedic atmosphere the film tries to project and simply adds to the already impressive editing work done for the film.

Perhaps the most impressive quality of this film is the fact that director Adam Rosenberg fills nearly all of the rolls on the project. While he does have some help in the credits the editing, animation and directing was all done by this lone person. Any film maker will tell you that to truly make a successful project you need a team behind you otherwise you are biting off more than you can chew almost always. In this regard I respect the talent and drive of Rosenberg and his efforts of this rather strange documentary. This is a example of what you can do if you simply put your mind to it and put it out there. While I am not sure this type of film will catch on it certainly shows that you don’t need a budget or even a grandiose story to simply make a film and get it out there to the public. The Somniloquist must be doing something right, as soon as he posted the video it went viral on Youtube and other media outlets with in a few days.

While this film will not be for everyone it is a unique offering by a talented young director. It does open your eyes to a rather common phenomenon and lets you delve deep inside the twisted web that is the subconscious. At a run time of just over four minutes The Somniloquist may just make you chuckle but don’t look for a deeper meaning or a visual experience to satiate your need for a movie. That said however if you are worried about making a film yourself I highly recommend you check this out to see what you can do if you have the courage to try and are not afraid to take a chance.

Check out more of Adam Rosenberg’s videos on Vimeo

About Kevin Kincaid

Kevin is a bored certified film critic. (Yes, bored is correct. He's tired of Hollywood too)

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