Time Code

  • 2000
  • Movie
  • R
  • Crime, Drama

Ladies and gentlemen, synchronize your watches. Mike Figgis's bold experiment is driven by the striking visual conceit — a gimmick, you might say — of four interrelated stories unfolding on screen simultaneously and in real time. It's demanding, but don't be put off by memories of old-fashioned split-screen effects; the stories are genuinely gripping...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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Ladies and gentlemen, synchronize your watches. Mike Figgis's bold experiment is driven by the striking visual conceit — a gimmick, you might say — of four interrelated stories unfolding on screen simultaneously and in real time. It's demanding, but

don't be put off by memories of old-fashioned split-screen effects; the stories are genuinely gripping and surprisingly easy to follow, especially since Figgis mutes the sound on three of the four segments at any given time. Lauren (Jeanne Tripplehorn) suspects her lover Rose (Salma Hayek) of

infidelity; on the way to an audition for hip producer Alex Green (Stellan Skarsgard), Lauren bugs Rose's purse and spends the next hour and a half listening in on Rose's activities. Alex is coming apart at the seams; he's drinking so much his partners are considering an intervention, his

estranged wife Emma (Saffron Burroughs) has decided to leave him, and Rose — who is indeed having an affair with him — is unhappy with the way he's treating her. Hotshot young director Lester Moore (Richard Edlund) is having trouble casting his new film, which Alex is producing. And

Alex's partners are worried about getting him to their upcoming meeting with hot young multimedia artist Ana (Mia Maestro) and her boyfriend Joey Z (Alessandro Nivola), who are on their way to pitch a project. Figgis shot the film (or is it films?) on professional-quality digital video, and shot

each segment in one continuous 93-minute take, a mind-boggling feat of coordination. It's even more amazing that he encouraged the actors — who include Julian Sands, Holly Hunter, Steven Weber and Kyle MacLachlan — to improvise within a set of fixed guidelines. Figgis's bold narrative

strategy turns what could have been a standard-issue chronicle of shallow Hollywood lives into a fluid and enthralling experience.

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  • Released: 2000
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Ladies and gentlemen, synchronize your watches. Mike Figgis's bold experiment is driven by the striking visual conceit — a gimmick, you might say — of four interrelated stories unfolding on screen simultaneously and in real time. It's demanding,… (more)

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