The renowned (but clearly factitious) Groat Center for Sleep Disorders presents this informational film about ASDICT (Adult Sleep Disorder Induced by Childhood Trauma). Writer/director Mitchell Rose plays L. Peabody Groat, Jr., the dry founder of the center, who also narrates the film.
With only a few gives, you can almost believe this is a real video for a real medical center. Using his background in choreography, Rose uses overhead shots from the bed of sleeping patients to show their disorders. In one instance, a couple performs a stop-motion dance on, around, and under the bed.
Another example of cute gags was a unique way to introduce background music into an otherwise banal medium of informational videos. During one scene, there is underlying accordion music being played by one of the mentally-disturbed patients in the background – a throwback to Mel Brooks’ humor (for those of us who remember him). The gag is repeated with a cello during the night dance scene.
The biggest sin this cute little film commits is that it’s not little enough. At seven minutes, there’s a little fat that can be trimmed. Some of the jokes can really tickle you, but they go on a tad too long (including the award-winning night dance).
I give a huge amount of credit to Mitchell Rose for using his talents as a choreographer and performance artist to put together a creative short film. Too often, I have seen someone with Rose’s background turn out a pretentious exhibition that plays to a fiercely limited audience. On first inspection, “Case Studies from the Groat Center for Sleep Disorders” is a cool piece that doesn’t take itself to seriously – and that is its strength.