Wake Up to Arrow's 'To Sleep So As To Dream' on Blu-ray

FTC Statement: Reviewers are frequently provided by the publisher/production company with a copy of the material being reviewed.The opinions published are solely those of the respective reviewers and may not reflect the opinions of CriticalBlast.com or its management.

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. (This is a legal requirement, as apparently some sites advertise for Amazon for free. Yes, that's sarcasm.)

To Sleep

Arrow Video Just released the directorial debut of Kaizo Hayashi (Circus Boys, Zipang) with his 1986 film To Sleep So as To Dream.

A love letter to the films he grew up on, Hayashi mashes as many genre’s as he is able to in this groundbreaking film that homages the films of the 1900’s thru 1950’s.

Harkening back to the serial detective stories, To Sleep So as To Dream begins when an elderly woman hires two fledgling detectives to help find a young actress from a forgotten film reel who appears to have been kidnapped by the movie company that made the film. Bungling their way thru leads that do not go anywhere, you get the feeling that this may not be a detective story after all, but a comedy in disguise when there hasn’t been any actual detective work during the whole first half of the film.

Quickly you understand as a viewer that this is all part of Hayashi’s master plan to incorporate all the styles of films he enjoyed as a child, from detective serials, to comedies, to silent films. To Sleep So as To Dream seamlessly envelops them all, and gives you a glimpse into the bygone days of yesteryear, as well as beautifully shooting various landmarks as the two detectives ultimately discover the secrets behind the woman who hired them.

If you are a fan of the cinemaphotography styles of the past, you will surely enjoy this. Surrealistic at times and often kicked into a fantasy dimension, you will heartily enjoy the escapism this film has to offer.


– High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation

– Original uncompressed mono audio

– Optional English subtitles

– Brand new audio commentary by Japanese film experts Tom Mes and Jasper Sharp

– Audio commentary with director Kaizo Hayashi and lead actor Shiro Sano recorded in 2000

– How Many Eggs? Actor Shiro Sano Talks, a brand-new interview with the film’s lead actor

 – Talking Silents: Benshi Midori Sawato Talks, a brand-new interview on early Japanese film culture and the art of the benshi silent film commentator

– Midori Sawato Performs ‘The Eternal Mystery’, an exclusive benshi performance to the film within the film

– The Restoration of To Sleep So as to Dream featurette

– Fragments from Japan’s Lost Silent Heyday, a selection of scenes from silent jidai-geki films from the Kyoto Toy Museum archives

– Original Theatrical trailer and English-language restored re-release trailers

– Image gallery

– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by David Downton

3.5 / 5.0