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Chronos (1985)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Short | 10 May 1985 (USA)
Carefully picked scenes of nature and civilization are viewed at high speed using time-lapse cinematography in an effort to demonstrate the history of various regions.


Ron Fricke


Constantine Nicholas (scenario), Genevieve Nicholas (scenario)


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Carefully picked scenes of nature and civilization are viewed at high speed using time-lapse cinematography in an effort to demonstrate the history of various regions.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Documentary | Short


Not Rated | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

Official site


USA | France



Release Date:

10 May 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Хронос See more »

Filming Locations:

Monument Valley, Arizona, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

IMAX 6-Track (dbx)



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Composer Michael Stearns used an instrument called the Beam to generate many of the sounds for this film, which is 12 feet long made of extruded aluminum with 24 piano strings from 19-22 gauge. The original instruments it was based upon were made from cast iron and difficult to move around. See more »


Referenced in Silicon Valley Timelapse (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

Very sharp movie that may leave some in doubt. But that would be sad...
8 April 2010 | by redwoodsSee all my reviews

OK I just watched this movie as an attempt to retrace Ron Fricke's filmography. As I find Baraka to be probably the best of all of my all time favorites, I started to watch Chronos with a somehow pervert feeling : "that cannot be better that Baraka" ... In my opinion it's not, BUT I must immediately add that it's a different approach to the reality he shows us, and in its way it's a masterpiece.

-Clearly the "message" here is an attempt to make the spectator aware of the scale of time and its unstoppable pace, along with the fragility and futility of advanced societies if left ungoverned. It's a difficult challenge to make such a movie in terms of techniques it requires and storyline you may actually tell. On this level he has managed to weave it all perfectly well.

-The technical achievement of making a movie of this level of quality with a low budget, on so many locations, with such a high level of consistency in the takes is just MAD technically speaking.

-This was all made in 1985... It's JUST Unbelievable...

-The work Ficke has accomplished with the dynamics of the light is closer to painting than mere filming. Almost all takes have a profound and aesthetic composition, dealing in it's way with the moment of the storyline. So contrary to what some say, it's not JUST filming locations... There is a second level of composition in these frames. Everything is extremely well demonstrated at the last frame of the movie...

-I do not agree that there is no political meaning in this film. It is in my opinion on a parallel with Baraka. There's quite a large amount of Christianity in it, but I am sure that Ron would have put other religions in the film, if he had had the budget in these ancient times (1985 remember)... He did so in Baraka BTW...

On the downside I must admit that on some aspects the film is difficult.

-First the music. It is certainly composed and played with utmost dedication and all the hard work it requires, but after a first watch, I must admit that I had a bit of a rough time with it. It's still quite detailed and interesting, but it sounds outdated and too heavy in its attempts to bring along the viewer with the pace of the movie... It can be perceived as lacking the delicacy and master-mastering of a soundtrack such as Baraka. My main concern is that some tracks sound too much like some early Jean-Michel Jarre compositions and this is quite painful for a fan like me... Certainly that Jean-Michel Jarre would have been a fine composer for a movie like this, but he may not have been aware of it, or not interested in such projects at that time. Overall the music brings you a bit out of the center but it's quite serious music in itself, I must also say.

-The "technicality" of the movie may at some moments take over the viewer. In a sense it can be perceived as boring if you don't read the light behind the scenes. And it's all quite amazing... I think this film is worth a detailed analysis. Certainly that watching it a second time with commentaries must be a real joy...

Overall this a very interesting Ron Frick movie as it is in a sense a preparatory work of Baraka, but there is so much sense in all the frames, that it is also a marvelous and specific experience. To be watched again....

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