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Timecode (2000)

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Four frames of simultaneous action that alternately follow a smitten lesbian lover as she obsesses over her partner's dalliances and the tense goings-on of a Hollywood film production company.


Mike Figgis


Mike Figgis (story)
2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Xander Berkeley ... Evan Wantz
Golden Brooks ... Onyx Richardson
Saffron Burrows ... Emma
Viveka Davis ... Victoria Cohen
Richard Edson ... Lester Moore
Aimee Graham ... Sikh Nurse
Salma Hayek ... Rose
Glenne Headly ... Therapist
Andrew Heckler ... Auditioning Actor
Holly Hunter ... Renee Fishbine
Danny Huston ... Randy
Daphna Kastner Daphna Kastner ... Auditioning Actor
Patrick Kearney Patrick Kearney ... Drug House Owner
Elizabeth Low Elizabeth Low ... Penny - Evan's Assistant
Kyle MacLachlan ... Bunny Drysdale


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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug use, sexuality, language and a scene of violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

28 April 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Time Code See more »


Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$93,148, 30 April 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$945,041, 11 June 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The film was shot fifteen times, over two weeks, one continuous take each time. See more »


The cameraman is reflected a few times on the guard's sunglasses. See more »


Alex Green: This is the most pretentious crap I've ever heard.
Ana Pauls: What?
Alex Green: I'm sorry.
Ana Pauls: I'm sorry, could you speak louder, please?
Alex Green: Do you think anybody sitting around this table has a clue about what you're talking about?
Ana Pauls: No, but it's time to educate people.
Alex Green: You know, we think, "This is crap, but we'll do it for you, and then you do our crap." And that'll be the deal.
Bunny Drysdale: Alex, you are way out of line. I brought Anna here and I brought Joey here, and I expect some respect. You're way out of line.
Alex Green: Come on, Bunny...
Ana Pauls: I ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

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 »


References Three Kings (1999) See more »


Main Title
Written by Mike Figgis & Anthony Marinelli
Performed by Mike Figgis & Anthony Marinelli
Produced by Mike Figgis & Anthony Marinelli
See more »

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User Reviews

Creative, unique experiment in audacious, bravura filmmaking.
8 August 2003 | by SilverzeroSee all my reviews

`Time Code' is the first film to use the method of split-screen quadrants where four stories, done in real time, unfold onto the screen. And an audacious, refined experience it is. This technique was going to be hit-and-miss. With four stories, you can only watch one at a time, and by focusing on one you may miss some key elements in another story. All are loosely intertwined, some more interesting than others. There is no digital grading/ authentication done to the images, so the film looks perfectly realistic.

The sound is emphasised on one of the screens at a time, though sometimes it is hard to differentiate which one. While the stories are perfectly watchable, they aren't invigorating or compelling and are only worthy of a passive attention. The narrative is strong and continued in a series of earthquakes that would rank about a 4 on the Richter scale. This is the first occasion in which I can honestly say that characters get plenty of screen-time (in fact they are in every scene), but barely develop.

Case in point is Saffron Burrows whose character is barely ever emphasised upon and we are offered pretty much no guidance as to what's going on in her story. Jeanne Tripplehorn's part is pretty much wasted as 95% of her screen-time is wasted on her simply sitting in her limo, barely even talking. She shows her true colours in the end, but these revelations are made too late in the game to be indispensable. In the third quadrant, there are many big names such as Holly Hunter, Salma Hayek, Julian Sands (`Leaving Las Vegas', `Naked Lunch), Stellan Skargaard (`The Glass House') and Kyle McLachlan. There are solid, subtle performances all round from the ensemble, but the characters themselves are poorly written.

Still though, Mike Figgis' avant-garde risque direction is suitably original and proves to be a talent to look out for in the future. While it is an accurate portrayal of high-class Los Angeles, there is an over-emphasis on drug use and lesbianism that compromises the originality of it all. `Time Code' must have been a step away from `impossible' to film. As there were no edits and stories took place in real time as they interwove, there's no telling how many takes they had to execute.

If one actor were to forget their line after about 90 minutes, everything would have to start all over again from the top. It's a surprise that the film even finished shooting, but they pulled it off and that deserves admiration. The movie ends on a sourly climactic moment that may leave a bad taste, but seems perfectly in keeping with Figgis' bravura tone. If you haven't yet seen `Time Code' it's best you know the gist of the plot and sub-plots before watching it, or you'll be absolutely lost from start to finish.

One of the most groundbreaking, though not spectacular, movies in recent year, `Time Code' proves to be an intelligent, admirable effort. While this experiment is unlikely to be attempted again, this is the first and undoubtedly the best of its kind. It definitely should have received attention on Oscar night. Curiously enough, the sound effects editing is the film's strongest point. My IMDb rating: 7.4/10.

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