Sleep paralysis

James Zhu, Arts


Digital Film

Artist Statement

My film captures the psychological experience of sleep paralysis by portraying an individual’s subconscious elements and allusions to the supernatural. Inspired by surrealism, I experiment with plot distortion by colliding fragments of memories and events together to create a melancholy atmosphere. The emphasis on subtlety and images from the everyday life allows the viewer to focus on detailed elements of the film rather than the bigger picture or the story. I express an altered way of thinking that relies heavily on bizarre subconscious experience in order to question the fixation on critical thinking in our rational society. While sleep paralysis is a painful experience, it can also reveal truths behind your inner thoughts that we struggle to understand in reality. Being said, that feeling of insecurity and the disability to physically control oneself is what triggers the climax of my film. Moving away from cinematic beauty, I exploit awkward camera angles and compositions as a way to deliver feelings of this mental chaos and terror.