Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Time Code- Four Movies in One?

What set Time Code apart from other generic films was the split four-view screen, which was strange to me at first. As the movie progressed, I enjoyed this novel idea, especially since it gave me the option of choice. The four screens had different scenes with characters that all had some relation to each other. The most significant scene would have a louder soundtrack, making the audience focus more on that particular scene. This wasn’t always the case, as I found some scenes to be more interesting than others and I would give my full attention to these particular shots even if the soundtrack focused on another scene. This gave the audience the option of choosing what to watch-something I’ve never seen in a movie before.

I would have to admit that I was confused at the beginning because I was trying to focus on all four screens. This was probably intended so the audience can get a sense of what’s happening on all screens before they developed a stronger liking for a particular story. The characters also migrated from a screen to another screen, which formed bridges between the story lines. Perhaps the most memorable scene of the movie was when the two bottom squares were joined together when Selma moved her finger from the left to the right during the love scene-this unified the whole movie. This cleared up some confusion and set up the plot. In the end, the audience sees the connection between the characters and gets an overall picture of the story.

While the set of the screen was interesting, I think it deferred attention to some of the story plots. For example, I concentrated more on the storyline with Selma Hayak and the lady in the limo, while I don’t remember much about the lady in therapy. Come to think of it, I don’t know what was her significance was in the movie. Though I am sure some members of the audience focused on the lady in therapy more than I did-its all based on personal preference. Since the audience might feel like they missed out on some parts, it makes them want to see it again until they see and understand all four stories. Perhaps an interesting way to raise ticket sales?

The movie itself felt really realistic probably because of the digital recording. In addition, the scenes felt like they were occurring in present time before our eyes, making the audience feel like they are witnessing this in person. It was made back in 2000, but one can definitely see the influence it made on the media. The popular show 24 seems to have adopted the same format as the movie. It definitely transports the audience from the comforts of their seat to some sort of virtual reality in the movie setting.

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Blogger Tim McNally said...

I agree with your statement about Timecode having an affect on other popular shows and movies. 24 was a great example to use here because it really does use split screens for every episode. Although the plotlines are not as complex as in Timecode, you can definitely see the connection here.

4/30/2007 4:01 PM  
Blogger Eddie Nguyen said...

I agree with what you said about audience members following different plotlines. That is one of the neat effects that this type of film allows; a different experience for different people.

Another thing I want to point out though, is how the simultaneous presentation of 4 quadrants of information allows so much backstory to so many characters. This is typically impossible to do in a standard film with only one "unit" of imfo being transmitted at a time. Having so much background to the characters allows for a much richer understanding of the character dynamics--much more like real life! Previously, the only way that that many characters can have their stories told--have that much character development--was through the many hours only available through TV series such as Lost. In Lost, the use of the flashback reveals more and more about each of the characters and continually changes our interpretation of them. Time Code's 4 screen stream of info does this (sort of) in a quick and intense--though less stylized--fashion.

5/06/2007 10:35 PM  

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