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With the rather Altmanesque Timecode, Mike Figgis's delivers one of the few truly experimental works to be released by a major studio in years. Figgis, using four digital video cameras, records a quartet of related groups of varying sizes engaged in activities that interact at various times, and the images captured by the four cameras are shown simultaneously to the viewer in a screen divided into quadrants. What's more, there actually is a story here, but the key to the experiment is counterpoint. What Figgis had to coordinate was nothing less than four little worlds converging. Timecode is at its most powerful when the cameras manage to simultaneously unite, almost magically, on the same thing, theme, or emotion, and buried in the four screens are some rather funny tricks (a mike planted on one character ends up with someone else; a masseuse ends up helping an actress audition for a part) and a very sad and poignant story about the end of a marriage and the end of a life. Timecode clearly is a film that benefits from continual viewings, and Columbia TriStar has made it easy to lose oneself in the worlds that Figgis has created. Offered here are two versions of the film — what is called "version 15," which was the theatrical version, and "version 1," an unrated rendition of the movie that was something of a run-through, and Figgis offers two separate commentaries, one for each version. Even better is a feature called the "audio mix option for version 15." With this, the viewer can highlight any quadrant, overriding Figgis's manipulation of the audio, and listen in. Figgis also provides a video diary of the making of the film, and other features include the very effective theatrical trailer, some production notes, DVD-ROM options (Figgis's unique "shooting score ," a look inside the Red Mullet offices, and a link to the official website), and talent files. Keep case.
—D.K. Holm

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