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The Clock (2010)

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Release Date:

15 October 2010 (UK)  »

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16:9 HD
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Equally worthy of Museums of Contemporary Art and of fine cinemateques - brilliant!
19 May 2012 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Is there anyone who has seen this who hasn't been astounded at its brilliance? Mesmerising is the first adjective on most people's lips, and by all accounts it seems that nobody can bring themselves to get up and terminate or interfere with this 24-hour loop experience, except under the duress of necessities such as work and home commitments, hunger, thirst and the need for sleep and toilet pit stops.

It is interesting that after two years this major "film work" should still only have a single review to date on IMDb, and that this second review should like the first be from Australia! I managed to see it over 24hours at a 55-hour opening marathon 17-19/5/12 held (partly to mark World Museums Day) by the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) in Sydney's Circular Quay, opposite the Opera House. Get the feeling yet that it has hitherto been seen as a postmodern art "installation",and more akin to art collage than a real landmark of the moving image? It is in fact a profound experience for passionate film lovers, and I am reminded of the splendid end to "Cinema Paradiso", when the reel of parish priest-censured kisses is finally run; "Clock" is about as moving an homage to motion film, with the thousands of snippets taken from at least many hundreds of films serving as a strange "whole life flashing before your eyes" experience for the ardent film lover. So many of the most famous, memorable and important films are represented, interspersed with hundreds more of less known and significant ones; early 1900s film segments mixing with 21st century, B/W with colour, drama with comedy; European with US and Asian; and a roll call of most of the greatest film stars in the last 100 years rubbing shoulders with obscure actors.

This connection with viewers is heightened by the actual "raison d'etre" of "Clock", namely the minute by minute correlation of our universal day with time-stamped scenes in movies, and this aspect of it certainly contributes greatly to its mesmerizing quality and our inability to want to get up and leave - what will happen next in our day? "Clock" is thereby a work of art - or "installation" if you will (finally one that deserves profound respect!) - that deeply relates to all viewers, even without its own footage or storyline or actors. It remarkably finds a connection to our experiences and emotions without even targeting a demographic or knowing who we are in the audience. No doubt that is the hallmark of great art, why this film seems relatively unknown within IMDb - and why it yet deserves admiration here.

A film equally worthy of Museums of Contemporary Art and of fine cinemateques. Well done Christian Marclay and thank you MCA, Sydney!

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