Posted on Friday, April 27th, 2012 by Jordan Hoffman
Los Cronocrimenes (2007); Nacho Vigalondo, director.
Order up a side of bacon, ’cause your mind is about to get scrambled. This one is a little less difficult to follow than Primer, and perhaps, ultimately, a little more fun.
Nacho Vigalondo’s film (also knows as Timecrimes for los gringos) isn’t just a fun soak in a science-fiction tub, it is a wonderful exercise in dramatic tension – knowing what is about to happen, yet being powerless to stop it. Or to want to stop it. It is also further evidence that if you ever see odd, industrial-looking buildings tucked away in a wooded area, you should automatically assume that dangerous experiments are going on within them.
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1949); Tay Garnett, director.
Some day I’ll go back to the days of knights and squires and croon my way into the heart of a fair maiden.
You wanna talk about traveling to the past, I first saw this movie at home – in the evening, with my father, on broadcast television. We didn’t even have a VHS player yet. I mean, if someone popped up and showed us the magic of a match we’d follow him anywhere.
I surely felt like a fool later in middle school when, studying Mark Twain, I discovered this movie was actually based on a famous book.
This would make good double feature with the Martin Lawrence vehicle Black Knight, which I’m nearly positive I thoroughly enjoyed watching after three grande margaritas.
Les Maitres du Temps (1982); Rene Laloux, director.
From the director of the cult masterpiece Fantastic Planet and designed by the recently deceased Jean “Moebius” Giraud, this whacked-out animated sci-fi feature (translated to mean Time Masters is one you really need to hunt down.
Like Fantastic Planet the animation style is deceivingly subversive – mixing childlike imagery with dark sequences and some truly frightening visions of extra-terrestrial lifeforms. There are amorphous shapeshifters, creepy angelic creatures, space stations and clever solutions to interstellar travel. Also, the coolest name for a starship you’ll hear in a while: Double Triangle 22.
The Trilogy: On the Run, An Amazing Couple, After The Life(2003); Lucas Belvaux, director.
Imagine a film not where the characters are time travelers but YOU are the time traveller. That’s what’ll happen if you sink your teeth into Belgian director Lucas Belvaux’s clever puzzle film project simply called The Trilogy.
First, know this: each of these three feature-length films works completely on its own. Each is its own experiment in style: a moody thriller, a romantic comedy and a drama. You can watch just one and be fine. Or you can watch all three – in any order – and you’ll discover that they overlap in completely unexpected ways. The side characters in one film are the stars of the other, and no one has much of an idea of the conflict happening in the other person’s story, or, even more fascinating, how their behavior is effecting the others. In fact, sometimes the same scene is shown in each of the films, but given the story and genre context of each one they come off completely different.
It stuns me just how little play these films got in the US. Don’t feel bad if you didn’t see ‘em – nobody did. In fact, I couldn’t even find an embeddable video to represent these films that are less than ten years old. They are, however, available on Netflix (that’s how I saw ‘em) and I strongly recommend you do, too.
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