Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Eternal Time Loops

The movie La Jetee presents another form of time travel that differs from the methods we have encountered so far in our texts. The use of memory as time travel is so true in everyday life, it's amazing that people do not call our brains time machines. Afterall, we think about the future and the past and create images in our minds about both.
Most of the movie was actually composed photographs, besides one, short animation. The only animated part of the movie was when the woman that the man was infatuated with was lying in bed and opened her eyes and blinked a few times. This scene must be significant since it is the only nonphotographic portion of the film. The waking animation could signify waking up from dreams/memory that are mental forms of time travel. The man sort of wakes up from his own time travel when he sees his own death. However, the whole thing about finally choosing where he goes in his memory and dreams and finding the woman is that he realizes that his life, or the expanse that he remembers and lives in, is merely a loop that will continue forever more through history and the future. This reminds me of Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five in a way since the narrator presents time as lots of loops that go on forever and occur spontaneously with each other in different dimensions. I always found this idea of time and history and future fascinating and I've sort of believed in this idea since I thought about it when I was younger. The thought of some parallel dimensions that have the same events occurring, just off time, is another method of time travel that could be possible if it were true.
One point of discrepency I have with the film is the photographs. Are they real photographs? There are images of the arc de triumph destroyed and such, so are the photographs edited? Are they really photographs then?



Blogger Caitlin Halsey said...

I really liked your response essay. La Jetée does depict a very different form of time travel through memory as opposed to a machine. The scene where the woman blinks and visibly breathes seemed very important to me as well. For me, I interpreted her animation as her realization to the man in La Jetée. The woman had become as real as the doctors, for instance, and life he had in the present even though she only resides in his memories of time travel. Further his conviction that the woman exists and is real leads to his decision to return to the past, which causes his death.

2/26/2007 7:35 PM  
Blogger Shane_Wey said...

You make a good point about time traveling in our minds. I often reflect on my day and past events. Although I am not physically present, I am looking back and seeing the past. What's interesting is that this form of time travel is limited. It is limited to the scope of our lives. We can not time travel to before we were born or after we die. We are also limited to our location. We can only see the past at the places we were.

4/30/2007 12:35 AM  

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