Reveries is ASMR for your eyes. That’s the best way I can describe it. Or, it’s like an ayahuasca session conducted by a Shaman who looks and sounds much like the late, great Mitch Hedberg. Yeah, maybe it’s the perfect combination of those two.
For over 40 minutes, narrations from creators Matt Barats and Anthony Oberbeck alternate between Jack Handy-esque one-offs like…
“I went on a date with a girl to a bar. The bar was empty. There was a piano in the corner, and she sat down to play. For a minute or so, I thought she was playing a very complicated song but, soon, it dawned on me that she was just testing every note in random order. But, by then, it was too late. I had already started singing along, so I just had to go with it.”
… and more extended musings on truly important things like a story about a little summer-camp boy who was bitten by a snake and then began rapidly aging, until someone killed the snake with a rock, and then the boy came back to the camp later that summer as his former, younger self. At least the narrator thinks it might’ve been the same boy. He can’t be certain.
It’s this one-two punch of unhinged cerebral probings that allows director Graham Mason and composer Tim Joyce to ground us in a precisely ungrounded world of camcorder visuals backed by tranquil synthesizers, haunting piano flourishes, and barely perceptible percussion that make you question if you’re even listening to anything at all. Through it all plays the loose story of two mysterious drifters as they roam the highways of America, pondering human nature. Impressively, all montage footage was shot on location in Austin; Boise, Idaho; Columbia, Missouri; Honolulu; Idyllwild, California; Juneau; Los Angeles; Montauk, New York; Mountain Home, Idaho; New York; Paris; Texarkana, Arkansas; Tonto National Forest, Arizona; Washington, D.C.; and White Sands, New Mexico, over the course of a year.
Peppered with cameos from alt-comedy mainstays like Ana Fabrega, Peter Smith, Wes Haney, Bardia Salimi, and Carmen Christopher, Reveries is an endorsement for unbridled creativity and experimentation and a marvel of artistic devotion. Many, many people won’t get this, or bother to watch the whole thing.
Those people will miss out.