Los Angeles advertisement director Max visits his friend, artist Charlie, who was diagnosed with A.I.D.S. in New York City. There he meets Karen, they are attracted to each other and after ... See full summary »
Non-linear film tells the sexual story of a film director from his life at age 5, 12 and 16, a man embarking on his first film in 1950s Tunisia, and finally to his current life. Along the ... See full summary »
While a British film crew are shooting a version of The Duchess Of Malfi in Venice, they in turn are being filmed by a sleasy documentary primadonna while the strange staff share meals ... See full summary »
A crooked American businessman tries to push the shady influential owner of a nightclub in Newcastle, England to sell him the club. The club's new employee and the American's ex lover fall in love and inadvertently stir the pot.
19 filmmakers from ten european countries selected by Mike Figgis for a Masterclass by the European Film Academy come to Slovenia in a challenging mission: to conceive, shoot, complete a ... See full summary »
In 1984 the National Union of Mineworkers went on strike. The dispute lasted for over a year and was the most bitterly fought since the general strike of 1926, marking a turning point in ... See full summary »
The primary story with this movie is that it is shown in four simultaneously filmed ninety-three minute single shot takes (in other words, shown in four quadrants), with the actual plot secondary. The four cameras follow the players involved, with two or more of the four cameras sometimes filming the exact same scene from different angles and thus different perspectives. The audio on each of the four quadrants is turned up and down based on which quadrant(s) the viewer should pay most attention to at any given time. The actual plot, which takes place in Hollywood, involves the pre-production by Red Mullet Productions for the movie "Bitch from Louisiana". The production team is in an executive meeting to discuss several aspects of the movie, including problems with one of their own, Alex Green, who has been missing in action from much of the production and this meeting. Alex's problems stem from his substance abuse and philandering, his wife Emma who is contemplating leaving him, of ...Written by
You are looking at a movie screen split into four parts. You will see a tale of sex and power, captured by four different cameras. You will witness a story told in real time, without any edits. You will experience the first movie ever told in four dimensions. See more »
It was initially shot on the DSR 130 DV Cam and then upgraded to Digibeta and finally HD. It was shown digitally at the Yahoo Internet Film Festival at the DGA (Directors Guild of America) on March22, 2000. See more »
After Lauren shoots Alex and leaves the building faculty, the cameraman and camera assistant can be seen facing behind the entryway - filming the crowd. See more »
I've been looking for somebody all my life who would discover me.
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The film was transferred from digital video to film stock for theatrical presentation. The video release, however, uses the original digital video picture format. See more »
A film doesn't have to be revolutionary for it to be brilliant.
Mike Figgis does a Robert Altman. Except, instead of creating a large narrative of interconnecting plot strands, he puts them all on four split screens. Is this therefore more subversive than Altman? I don't think so - Altman's method is an attack on Hollywood linearity, on conventional methods of 'connection'; his characters exist is the same space but are emotionally etc. miles apart. The characters in 'Short Cuts', like the city of L.A. itself, are a mass without a centre. Figgis, for all the supposed diffusion of his visual strands, actually reunites, glues together Altman's ruptures. In this way it might seem a more optimistic kind of film. It isn't.
'timecode' is being touted as a revolution in cinema, a new way of watching films. Instead of watching one screen and being led by a director, we are given four, and asked to make our choices. I was surprised at how panicked I was at this in the first 20 minutes, darting between scenes, wondering which one I should follow. This forced me out of the film much more disturbingly than anything by Fassbinder or Godard. But this alienation is deceptive. Firstly we are not really bombarded by four narratives - put 'pierrot le fou', 'diary of a country priest', 'vampyr' and 'branded to kill' on four screens, then you'd be confused. Figgis leads you all the way, gives you an illusion of choice, but rarely fulfils it. The focus is on one screen at a time - either the soundtrack is turned up loudest, the plot is more interesting, whatever. For long periods of time, you can safely ignore other scenes because there is nothing going on - for about 20 minutes, for example, Lauren sits in a limousine listening to a bug planted on Rose; this leaves us free to watch another screen and see what she's listening to. Other scenes are merely tedious - eg Emma droning to her shrink (a nod to Godard's 'week end', that famous end of cinema?) - so that you gladly look elsewhere. It is possible to listen to one scene, and flit around at the others to catch up on what's going on.
What I'm saying is, 'timecode' is not a difficult experience - after the initial adjustment, you watch the film as you would any other, especially as all the stories converge and are really only one story. Even at the beginning, the feeling is less one of Brechtian alienation than akin to being a security guard faced with a grid of screens - you rarely think about the physical processes of film or performance, as you would in a Dogme or Godard film.
So if 'timecode' is less revolutionary than it seems, that doesn't mean it isn't a brilliant film, a real purse in a pig's ear of a year (or whatever the expression is). One reason for this is the four-screen structure: I would have to watch it a few more times, but I was very conscious of the orchestration of the screens, the way compositions, or camera movements, or close-ups etc., in one screen were echoed, reflected, distorted in the others - a true understanding of this miraculous formal apparatus would, I think, give us the heart of the film, and bely the improvised nature of the content. Figgis is also a musician - he co-composed the score - and the movement here, its fugues and variations are truly virtuosic, almost worthy of my earlier Altman comparison.
But the content is great fun too. At first I was disappointed at the self-absorbed drabness of the material, the idea that we shouldn't be made to work too hard because we've enough to deal with the four screens. And, it is true, that the stories rarely transcend cliche. But, such is the enthusiasm of the performers (people like Salma Hayek obviously relishing slightly more useful roles than the bilge they're usually stuck in); the precision of the structure; the mixture of comedy and pathos, and the way the style facilitates both, that you're convinced you're watching a masterpiece. Quentin's massaging and Ana's pitch are two of the funniest things I've seen in ages, while Stellan Skarsgard's rich performance stands out all the more for its brittle surroundings.
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