Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Criticwire Survey: The Passage of Time

Q: Richard Linklater has said that the real theme of his movie "Boyhood" is not growing up but time itself. What's your favorite film or TV illustration of the passage of time?

I assume everyone knows that probably the two greatest “passage of time” sequences in history are in Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane – where years of marriage are presented in a few minutes over various breakfasts – and in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey where millions of years are skipped in the blink of an eye with a brilliant jump cut. These are so clearly the best they hardly seem like they need to be mentioned at all.
More recently I think two David Fincher movies did a brilliant job at presenting the passage of time – Zodiac (2006) where the years of obsession goes by, in some ways very subtlety, as when the dinner table in which Jake Gyllenhaal sat around the table with his family is now empty except for all the boxes. Then, of course, there was The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – which wasn’t loved by a lot of people – but I think was a brilliant examination of the passing of time, and death. Even more recently, I think Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel did a great job – showing the changes to the various characters and the title hotel itself brilliantly. As for Boyhood – I   cannot wait.

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