Early FilmsEarly Films
Short FilmsShort Films
The Family AlbumThe Family Album
Intimate StrangerIntimate Stranger
Nobody's BusinessNobody's Business
The Sweetest SoundThe Sweetest Sound

First Cousin Once RemovedFirst Cousin Once Removed
56 Ways of Saying I Don't Remember56 Ways of Saying I Don't Remember
Letter to the EditorLetter to the Editor


“Alan Berliner has composed a deliriously intimate portrait of himself, his obsessiveness and manias, and his inability to sleep in his wonderfully indulgent film Wide Awake... a mesmerizing picture of a lifelong struggle with sleep deprivation and the elusive search for a cure... enlightening and informative... Wide Awake takes us onan engrossing, even stimulating, walk throughthe inner recesses of one man's mind.”

—Geoffrey Gilmore, Sundance Film Festival

"...another gloriously eccentric achievement by Alan Berliner..."

—Scott Foundas, LA Weekly

“Berliner... has the gift of addressing intimate subjects and making them universal. Nowhere has he done this better than with "'Wide Awake," in which he uses dazzlingly edited movie outtakes, self-portraiture, TV commercials, home movies, in-her-face footage of his comfortably sleeping wife... and the advice of sleep specialists, all in an effort not just to figure out why he can't sleep, but to determine what sleep means. Berliner is always operating from a position of bemusement... a consistently humorous business.”

—John Anderson, Variety

Wide Awake is possibly a minor masterpiece of documentary impressionism, possibly an indulgently punchy memoir, probably both… the film slips between the lyrical and the epic, effortlessly blends art with kitsch, and the intimately particular with the groaningly universal… Weird and wonderfully, Wide Awake really earns its subtitle— Portrait of an Artist as Insomniac…

—Troy Patterson, Slate.com

…(an) exuberantly jazzy, jangly documentary… a personal vision, … only someone obsessed with visual imagery could have made it… a terrific film that ranges widely over not only the problems of sleeplessness and its causes, remedies, and history, but about the speeded-up, 24/7 society that exacerbates them. Among other things, the film is a gorgeous visual tribute to Manhattan.

—Brendon Bernhard, The New York Sun

“... brilliantly edited... an idiosyncratic blend of the hilarious and deeply personal... . Berliner creates visual metaphors that evoke the workings of a restless mind.”

—Full Frame Documentary Film Festival

“It would be no stretch to say that with his latest effort, Alan Berliner has created the Personal Essay Film. No small feat that, given the expanse of personal mythology that Berliner – one of the most influential in the nonfiction genre today – has mined in his famously magical and richly textured internationally acclaimed films.”

—Anne S. Lewis, Austin Chronicle

“... a gleefully masochistic fun-house ride through the remote corners of his sleep-deprived mind... . Fast-paced and expertly edited, the movie fixes Berliner among an elite group of documentarians (Kate Davis and Michael Moore among them) who understand entertainment better than most of their contemporaries working in narrative features. You'll be at rapt attention from the first frame to the last.”

—Steve Schneider, Orlando Sentinel

“WIDE AWAKE transcends Berliner’s own sleeplessness to speak to the nature of creativity and the human challenge of living in the shadow of the clock. Berliner fans will welcome this latest offering from the modern master of personal documentary filmmaking”

—2006 Florida Film Festival

“Berliner takes his celebrated self-scrutiny to dizzying heights in this portrait of the artist as insomniac. As his trademark virtuosic montage editing flashes by... we realize the extent to which artistry can be tied to neurosis – a message unusual in its candor and transparency”

—Max Goldberg, The San Francisco Bay Guardian

“Wide Awake bristles with extraordinary insight about the power of sleep on the waking mind and ultimately becomes an extraordinary document on the artistic process...”

—Thomas Logoreci, San Francisco International Film Festival

“Alan Berliner’s WIDE AWAKE is an eye opener... an understanding of insomnia in cinematic terms... a delightful collage of dream interpretation, interviews, quirky arcs of logic, found footage, and pauses for discovery and self-reflection.... transcends the personal to become a fascinating study of social issues and the nature of creativity itself.”

—Susan Tavernetti, Filmfestivals.com

“On the first Saturday morning of the film festival, the badge-holders' line snaked around the block outside the Alamo Drafthouse theater for a screening of "Wide Awake," Alan Berliner's smart, funny, densely layered journey through his battles with insomnia, as well as his own psyche.”

—Ann Hornaday, Washington Post