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Time code

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

What do you want to watch?

Time code is an exciting, innovative new film project from acclaimed director Mike Figgis that breaks all the rules. Part of Figgis' daring evolution towards the ultimate in minimalist film production, the film was shot in one day entirely with hand-held digital video cameras in sequence, in real time with no editing. The plot - a black comedy thriller set against Los Angeles lifestyles - literally unfolded before the cameras as the actors each forged an improvised trajectory for their characters based on the central elements of an affair, a murder and an ensuing Hollywood mystery.

Four main characters are at the centre of the plot: Stellan Skarsgård as Alex, a film producer; Saffron Burrows as his wife, Emma; Salma Hayek as Rose, an aspiring actress in the midst of an affair; and Jeanne Tripplehorn as Lauren, a woman whose actions will alter all their fates. Mystery, comedy, intimate drama - these and much more result as the cameras roll.

Theatrical propaganda posters

Time code image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film drama mystery real-time comedy Hollywood

Persons of interest

  • Xander Berkeley .... Evan Wantz
  • Golden Brooks .... Onyx Richardson
  • Saffron Burrows .... Emma
  • Viveka Davis .... Victoria Cohen
  • Richard Edson .... Lester Moore
  • Aimee Graham .... Sikh Nurse
  • Salma Hayek .... Rose
  • Glenne Headly .... Dava Adair
  • Andrew Heckler .... Auditioning Actor
  • Holly Hunter .... Renee Fishbine
  • Danny Huston .... Randy
  • Daphna Kastner .... Auditioning Actress
  • Patrick Kearney .... Drug House Owner
  • Elizabeth Low .... Penny
  • Kyle MacLachlan .... Bunny Drysdale
  • Mía Maestro .... Ana Pauls
  • Leslie Mann .... Cherine
  • Suzy Nakamura .... Connie Ling
  • Stellan Skarsgård .... Alex Green
  • Mike Figgis .... Screenwriter
  • Mike Figgis .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report


The coolest part of Time code is that it is split into four screens: like picture in picture in picture in picture. You get to watch four different but sometimes overlapping channels at the same time. It's like being the vision switcher for a live broadcast of the footy, or watching the TVs while you're on the treadmill down at City Gym. A lot of the viewing is unimportant - someone walking down the street or having an inconsequential conversation - but the sound often directs you to the quadrant where the action is so there's no worry about getting lost.

Not that there's anything wrong with getting lost. I, being the far out kind of guy that I am, quite enjoy getting lost, or as I prefers to spin it, immersing myself in the holistic experience. It's fun to listen to the dialogue and follow what's going on with your auditory systems while engaging your visual systems in a different sphere. Oops, quadrant. Keep your eyes tracking over the screen picking up useful and useless information as it comes, follow all the stories as they twist around each other, it's a great way to achieve the eye of god as you watch the puny mortals rush about on their petty schemes, all of which must come to a single end in any case.

I wonder whether I took his medication this morning.

The story isn't any great shakes: Hollywood spin, actors, adultery, jealousy, murder, typical stuff but interesting enough. It's limited by the format, but this film was always going to be about form rather than content. Get over it. If you're a film student or an indie filmmaker you need to watch Time code. If you like alternative films, likewise. If you're sick of Pokémons and Julia Roberts, ditto. Have fun!

Security censorship classification

MA 15+ (Drug use, medium level sex scene)

Surveillance time

93 minutes (1:33 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 7 March 2001

Cinema surveillance images

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