Magazine article The Christian Century

Mod Quad

Magazine article The Christian Century

Mod Quad

Article excerpt

WATCHING TIME CODE is akin to going into an appliance store and observing a wall of televisions tuned to different channels. Director and writer Mike Figgis divides the screen into four quadrants, each showing a different, but related, 93-minute uncut shot. Is it any good? Let's put it this way:

Review 1: Figgis is much more interested in his idea for a film than he is in creating a story or meaningful characters. I could relate the plot, but if Figgis didn't care a whit about it, why should I? Things do happen in Time Code--earthquakes, humorous meetings among film executives, emotional breakdowns--but they keep the audience's attention only for a few minutes.

Review 2: The lack of plot is beside the point. Figgis is disrupting the film medium in a revolutionary way. One small incident reveals his audacious, powerful purpose: I was watching the bottom-left quadrant, where a rather serious situation was about to erupt, when two people behind me started laughing uncontrollably. I was disoriented for a second, but then noticed that the bottom-right quadrant showed a man massaging another man's earlobe. It hit me: though we were watching the same movie, none of us was having the same viewing experience. …

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