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Time Code (Mike Figgis) 2000

A grand cinematic experiment in a time of me-too productions, Mike Figgis' Time Code is not an unqualified success, but it's so far from a failure that it deserves recognition. The split-screen shooting, which initially might seem a gimmick, quickly becomes a revelation. (I remember audibly gasping the first time two images combined to form one.) Few commercial directors are as actively trying to redefine and reinvent the form as Figgis is. Gimmicks/innovations aside, the film is a hilarious send up of both Hollywood-style politics and Altman-esque busy narratives. Saffron Burrows gives a particularly good performance here. The DVD version features perhaps the best use of the technology yet, allowing the viewer to see an alternate take of the entire film, and freely switch between soundtracks.

***1/2

September, 2001

Jeremy Heilman