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Sundance premiere: Mike Birbiglia's bloody leap into filmmaking

Published January 24, 2012 9:44 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

When comedian Mike Birbiglia joined with Ira Glass (of public radio's This American Life) to make a movie of Birbiglia's autobiographical one-man show, "Sleepwalk With Me," it was their first venture into filmmaking.

"I wanted to do this because it was so cinematic," Glass told the premiere night crowd in Park City on Monday.

Indeed. Birbliglia's sleep disorder provides visually exciting dream/sleep running sequences — one that results in the film's marriage-phobic, struggling stand-up comedian leaping out a motel window and having glass shards dug out of his leg at the local emergency room.In the film, it the scene goes down like this: "You should be dead," the doctor tells Birbiglia after cutting off his bloody PJs.

"No, YOU should be dead," Birbiglia shoots back with his signature deadpan, then in a voice-over explains, "I zinged him. Because I'm a comedian."

During the question-and-answer session following the screening, Birbiglia and Glass were asked if they would do another film.

"It depends on what happens next [with the film]," Glass answered.

"You bitch," Birbiglia chided him.

"It takes so long to make a movie," Glass protested. "It's like two years for 90 minutes."

- Glen Warchol