Sleeper

Tagged: Film

Film (1973). Rollins-Joffe Productions/United Artists. Directed by Woody Allen. Written by Allen, Marshall Brickman. Cast includes Allen, John Beck, Mary Gregory, Diane Keaton and Don Keefer. 88 minutes. Colour.

The plot device of having a man from the present suddenly finding himself in the future (this time through Cryonics) is nearly always used to comment on contemporary society rather than to speculate about the future (see Sleeper Awakes). This, one of Allen's best slapstick Satires, targets Nixon, health food, beauty contests and revolutionary politics, but it does include genuinely futuristic sf gags involving Robots and robot pets, Sex practices and artificial food (which has to be beaten into submission before it can be served). One of the best sequences involves an attempt to Clone a new body from the nose of the country's assassinated dictator, the only bit left. Allen is the always-anxious health-food faddist who cannot come to terms with the future's partiality to pleasure. The film won both Hugo and Nebula. A later Woody Allen film using an sf device – Time Travel, though not in an science-fictional context – is Midnight in Paris (2011) [JB/PN]

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