There's a truck up the street that I passed at lunch which has in big letters on the side: "Mobile Laboratory." On the back is a big yellow, happy face with lettering around it reading: "Don't Follow Too Close this Truck is Full'a Pee!"
Last night, as the final hurrah of Memorial Day weekend, Thom and I went to see Time Code. It's a very ingenious little movie that's all about the experimentation with the film format and execution and a little less about storyline. It stars Holly Hunter, Salma Hayek, Jeanne Tripplehorn, (the luscious) Kyle MacLachlan, Stellan Skårsgard (whose face is familiar but whose name I had to look up) and many others. They all improvised their way through a continuous camera shoot with no other marks than basic plot points and synchronized watches.
The movie screen is then split into four different views with the sound following around the screen, highlighting some bits while fading others. At times there was overlap in sound and at other times you found yourself listening to one while watching the action in another. Every now and then two camerastwo peoplewould cross each other and you'd see more than one angle on a scene. I only caught two glitches in which the camera people became part of the scene.
The stories themselves were fairly interesting. They were like very short stories of people whose lives intersect through one another even when they don't know it. Occasionally, those lives come together but we are privy to the how and why they come together. There is occasionally a common thread which joins them such as an earthquake and the use of cell phones but for the most part they go through their lives fairly oblivious to what they're doing to each other. Tripplehorn is amazing in terms of her emotional impact on the whole movie. Hayek is enjoyable but not revolutionary. I felt the same about Scårsgard who for some reason seemed out of balance in the movie. There were some great bit part pieces as well.
Overall, however, they would have done well to not let the actors improvise. Part of it could have been tightened with a stronger and more in-control storyline. The main "stage" for all of this action is a Hollywood studio which was comical but a little trite. Although, I really do think that all Hollywood execs are exactly like the characters in this movie: shallow, faking-it, entitled, ridiculous and completely self-absorbed.
Addendum: I had intended to write more for this entry though about what I cannot fathom.
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