By Phil Hall | November 14, 2011

It is not difficult to view Gideon Koppel’s documentary about the Welsh farming village of Trefeurig and not think about the sitcom classic “Seinfeld” – or at least the concept of the beloved TV program, which was presented as a show about nothing. Indeed, the film captures the quotidian daily activities of Trefeurig in such a dreary manner that it makes “Sleep Furiously” into a film about nothing.

Oh, some things occur – a bookmobile makes a monthly visit, a woman asks her husband if he would prefer leeks or cabbage for his dinner, a dog chases after his master’s van as it plods down a road, school children learn their lessons in English and Welsh. As presented here, Trefeurig seems like a place that time (mostly) forgot – the appearance of modern farming vehicles reminds the viewer that this is not a vintage travelogue. But Koppel never gets close enough to the villagers to ascertain why they prefer to live in this isolated area.

The real problem is that everyone seems very pleasant – perhaps a little too pleasant for the benefit of Koppel’s camera, as there are no unruly students or cranky elders to be found. The film’s crisp cinematography and a charming score by Aphex Twin are helpful in keeping the viewer’s attention – otherwise, people might take the film’s title literally and doze off in the midst of this dull endeavor.

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