Sleep paralysis

Meriel, one night pre-2012…

I am slowly opening my eyes to find myself lying down on my bed, with my head in a straight position, and my arms running alongside my body. I think I am awakening because the natural light of the day is visible through my room’s window. My big comfortable room. It has always been a place of comfort, but on that night, or rather, that morning, it became a place of terror. I have often had nightmares taking place in my room, including a recurrent one in which my bed would move all by itself, and take me to some dark and frightening places. But this time, I certainly was awake, but I could not move. I am paralyzed. Completely paralyzed! Even my respiratory muscles are! How dreadful… I am only able to take small and jolty breaths, and when I try to take a deep one, my body doesn’t answer anymore. I can still move my eyes though, but I am frightened as hell…! Someone is on his way to enter my room, that’s for sure! I can feel it! Nobody comes, but I can feel it! I feel it so strongly that I am sure that person has already entered without touching the door. Yes, just like a ghost! I don’t see anybody, but I know someone is about to come in. There she is! My mother comes in like a maleficient shadow. I was never afraid of her before that experience, but I do see her coming slowly towards me, bypassing the foot of my bed to then kneel down to my left, next to my night table, and tilt her head towards mine with an intense blank stare. I felt like my guts were falling out! I keep trying with all my strength to move and to beg my body to let just one single scream or sound of distress come out so she can help me and reassure me, but nothing comes out. I am paralyzed. I even try to hyperventilate for her to notice in my breathing a sign of abnormality. All I can do is look at her, hoping she would understand my suffering and touch me to wake me up from this hell of a situation, but she does nothing. Sorry. Yes she does! She stares right at me, and my eyes are wide open as well. In the end, the only remaining thing to do is to close my eyes and wait, without having to look at her. After a while, it was over. “You just had a nightmare, that’s all!” my mother told me.

Continue reading

First part: Satisfaction

Photography, cinema, or even paintings, what matters is the fascination for ancient faces, or why not, the reproduction of that fascination nowadays. Mainly children, whose innocence and vulnerability are among the purest themes of this world. I personally consider everything (and I am not only referring to the 20th century!) that happened before the 1960s as a world in its own right, fascinating, marvelous, and imbued with an elegance that has now disappeared, and which, to my deepest concern, has vanished since the advent of the Hippie culture.

Continue reading

Strawberry and Chocolate

I had that annoying and shameful habit of falling asleep numerous times during screenings… My uncontrollable naps could last from five to forty-five minutes, and could even be filled with dreams. Very unhealthy sleep habits, boring and uninteresting screenings, and a dark room did not help. When I was lucky, my naps would remain unnoticeable, and my brain would wake me up right before the lights were turned on once the screening was over. When I was not, I would wake up a bit too late, or my body would make me do sudden moves easily, noticeable even in the dark, to wake me up. Not the best behavior from a film student…!

The article you are about to read is the final assignment I had to hand on during my last year at Concordia University, within the scope of the course FMST335-A – Cuban Cinema and Media, course given by Irene Rozsa for the Film Studies program and Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema department in the Faculty of Fine Arts of the university in Montreal, Canada.

The assignment had to deal with post-revolutionary Cuban cinema, and Fresa y Chocolate was one of the only films that did catch my attention in a way I had known way before (being attracted to the handsome and charming character of David also helped), and as a result, prevented me from falling asleep.

Continue reading