Having taken what would turn out to be a permanent break from the Band, guitarist and songwriter Robbie Robertson's marriage disintegrated. Seeking solace and a safe haven, Robbie moved into Martin Scorsese's home on Mulholland Drive - Scorsese had recently directed the film of the Band's legendary final concert, The Last Waltz, and the two were fast and firm friends.
The two years Robbie and Marty lived together entered Hollywood legend, though nobody knows the details of what actually occurred during that time, other than hearing rumours of cocaine, bacchanalian parties, and untold amounts of debauchery (with Robbie & Marty becoming Hollywood's odd couple, barely leaving the house or each other's company, and ordering in MGM reels they would watch in Marty's home cinema). When they finally emerged, it was having forged a new creative partnership - Scorsese going on to direct Raging Bull with Robbie writing the soundtrack.
Insomnia provides an integral glimpse into both Robertson and Scorsese's lives during an untamed period in American culture. Building upon the vast and arching scale of Robbie's first autobiography, Testimony, Insomnia takes a sharply personal turn, exploring the fascinating friendship between an influential rocker and a visionary filmmaker, and the high octane exploits that resulted during the late 1970s when both decided to 'cut loose'.