Time to write another blog.


Time is created by us. It is a self imposed constraint, a method employed by humans so we can measure our lives and organise ourselves. As I write this post, the clock reads 02.42 – quite late. In a few hours or so daylight will come and announce the impending day, and people will be woken up by their alarm clocks so that they can attend appointments, meetings and go to work.
So we live our lives by time. It presses on us, dictates to us what we can and can’t do and when we can and can’t do it, and we run with it. There are only three concepts in time – the past, the present and the future. The present is forever becoming the past and the future, the future is forever becoming the past. It is now 02.52.

Time is said to be subjective – yet it is a standard measured unit. In my opinion time will always be fixed, yet how that time is processed by the brain of the person in question is subjective. I Thought La Jetee was quite a good exercise in examining how the human brain processes time through visual imagery and sound. I was impressed especially at not only how old the film is, but how influential. I was unaware of the origins of Twelve Monkeys (1995) until I watched La Jetee.

Time travel is a concept that has been in modern culture for a long time. In La Jetee, I thought it was interesting how a montage of still images could give the impression of the passage of time when accompanied by some kind of linking sound – in this case the narrative and low-key whispering.
It made me think about how my brain processes the succession of time and events – how I perceive movement and just how little frames can convey the passage of time. I wonder if the experience of time as derived from La Jetee varied from person to person in that lecture theatre. Whether or not some of us found it quite tedious and drawn out or found it fleeting. It is entirely possible that a few of us were filling in the gaps in the frames and lack of fluidity with our own idea of passing time, making it seem longer. My theory for this is that if more gaps in the film were filled by the processing of an idea of time in someones brain, then this processing would make the film seem longer in real time.

The content of the film was also rather sombre. The Nazi-ish scientists, the horror of the experiments and the sense of death that prevailed throughout differ from other portrayals of the same concept. La Jetee in its age, innovation and execution, contrasts hugely with depictions of time travel in popular culture such as the Back to the Future trilogy and Doctor Who. It is now 03.47.


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