A beautiful young dentist (Ormond) working in a tough British prison starts to become attracted to a violent inmate (Roth) after the break-up of her marriage, and embarks upon an illicit ... See full summary »
Martin is a successful writer whose wife suddenly disappeared. During a film shoot fifteen years later, Martin meets Angelique, who disappears the same night. The next day, police find her dead body and a mysterious investigation begins.
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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
An earthquake ensues at Cherine's house with Cherine and Emma hiding in the kitchen. As the shot lingers toward the two crammed in the kitchen entry, the camera's shadow is cast on the wall nearby. See more »
When somebody kicks down a door, you don't comment on how gracefully they destroyed it. You're grateful that they opened up the space. Mike Figgis' TIME CODE is a digital-video gimmick movie on a par with BLAIR WITCH, an abstract-ified version of I'M LOSING YOU and/or THE PLAYER, and a mainstream digestion of THE CHELSEA GIRLS, and of Warhol's let-the-mag-run-out cinema in general. Its L.A. is one of tinny cliches: iced lattes and lots of cell phones, actresses balling B-movie production execs in the back of the screening room, lesbian power brokers making sure you'll never eat lunch in this so-forth-and-so-on. And its cast is not uniform in the gift of improvisation. (Holly Hunter, bless her soul of an artiste, is really, truly bad at it.)
Despite all this, TIME CODE is some kind of an almost-great movie. Which kind, it will take a little time to deduce. Figgis invented a form that's apt for our present-day condition: ninety-nine channels of cable TV and nothing to watch. He lifts the glam, vacuity and split screen of THE CHELSEA GIRLS and turns it into a twenty-first-century reading-while-watching-TV-and-skimming-the-Internet language. Like Warhol, he moves our attention from one panel to another by fading the sound up and down; though the ideal form of TIME CODE would seem to be a multi-track DVD. The movie isn't so much interactive as it is horizontal, open-ended, multiple. It does, though, make such "narrative breakthroughs" as PULP FICTION and MAGNOLIA look like Chaplin two-reelers.
Like this year's other strong Hollywood movie, James Toback's BLACK AND WHITE, TIME CODE uses an advanced, tightropish, improvisatory form to vent the filmmaker's most uncensored id. Figgis' fantasies are not as outre as Toback's, but the two filmmakers share some odd similarities--both virtuosos of self-pity, they are as willing to share their sex anxieties and weird fetishes with you as a Tourette's victim. That's the stuff Figgis uses as grout to hold his high formalist structure together.
There's a special delight in the let-your-eye-roam freedom Figgis gives us. It frees up cinema from its roots in the Homeric campfire. It brings it closer to painting than to theatre. It opens the door to participation at a time when movies seem to forbid it. But one practical note to Mr. Figgis: When Salma Hayek takes up one of your four frames, the other three are impossible to tend to.
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