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Sunday, February 9, 2014

The End of Time and Visitors Track the Great Mystery of Life on Earth

Posted by on Sun, Feb 9, 2014 at 10:23 AM


Peter Mettler's cinematic meditation on the nature of time, The End of Time, begins with a look at the extremely small (the CERN Large Hadron Collider smashing protons at high speeds) and ends with a look at the extremely large (the telescopes in Chile's Atacama Desert penetrating the universe and the deepest parts of time). In between, we see many things, some of which are amazing, while others are a little too familiar.

On the amazing side of things is the sequence centered on an active volcano in Hawaii. We see its hellish smoke, its otherworldly slopes, its red lava rising from cracks in the earth and black lava hardening on prone roads. A human lives out here and watches the volcano from a distance that does not seem at all safe. His porch has a view of the history and the future of the world: its birth, its death, its rebirth. In one scene, huge trees are burned like matchsticks; in another scene, new and strange green plants are making an impressive comeback. The lone human doesn't have anything profound to say about all of this; he just watches the volcano and waits, it seems, for his own death...

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billbillbillbillbill 1
Your review gives no indication that The End Of Time is on the nature of time at all. Does it ask whether time itself flows, or does physical space flow throw it, or does time even exist, or is it just a way to describe physical processes? I'm legitimately curious because that would be an interesting movie worth checking out, but if it's just a bunch of "Hey look objects come into and out of existence," as you imply, then it sounds like a waste of, ahem, time.
Posted by billbillbillbillbill on February 9, 2014 at 11:11 AM · Report this
fletc3her 2
If you enjoyed the Qaatsi trilogy, or the works of Ron Fricke (Baraka and Samsara) then you owe it to yourself to see Visitors at Cinerama. It is an amazing piece of work, taking the essence of the Qaatsi movies and distilling it even further. And the Cinerama is, as Godfrey Reggio himself suggested at the Q&A opening night, probably the best theater to experience this movie in. The size of the images is truly breathtaking on their gorgeous screen and the experience is truly immersive.

These films are meant to be approached with an open mind and I think the images are best seen cold, but I will say I got a lot more out of it than Charles did. There are some beautiful images and some pedestrian, some parts hark directly back to the Qaatsi movies and others are novel. Like any piece of art the movie requires some effort on the part of the viewer to draw their own conclusions about what the movie means. And I think everyone could draw something different out of it. Hearing the director after there were certainly parts I read completely "wrong", but my interpretation is as valid as any.
Posted by fletc3her on February 9, 2014 at 11:31 AM · Report this
stinkbug 3
I didn't expect much from Visitors and the film met my expectations.
Posted by stinkbug on February 9, 2014 at 4:50 PM · Report this
billbillbillbillbill 5
@4, that's what I figured, thanks for the tip.
Posted by billbillbillbillbill on February 21, 2014 at 5:02 PM · Report this

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