Time travel. We’ve all wanted to do it at some point, but alas the real world has yet to catch up with our imaginations (damn you, science!). Luckily cinema is keen to use the device of time travel in many of it’s wares, following in the footsteps of H.G. Wells ‘The Time Machine’, from devoting entire popcorn box office behemoths like Back to the Future and The Terminator, to the less successful, such as Ashton Kutcher’s The Butterfly Effect.
I’ve been on a bit of a time travel-themed film stint, so thought I’d share 5 great time travel films you might want to watch (if you haven’t already)
1. Primer (2004)
It’s fair to say Shane Carruth was the auteur of this mind-bending indie film, as he wrote, directed, produced, edited and wrote the score for it. Oh, and he starred in it. Yes, a man of many talents. One of which is to make my brain hurt with the complexity of this tale of two engineers who build a time machine in their garage.
2. Time Crimes (Los Cronocrimines) (2007)
A Spanish time-loop/crime film that has a distinctly creepy undertone. Director Nacho Vigalondo also stars as a scientist, who seems to have something to do with a mysterious series of events as witnessed by his neighbour Hector.
3. La Jettee (1962)
Chris Marker’s 1962, 28-minute featurette, told mainly through still photos is available in it’s entirety on Vimeo. Terry Gilliam has confessed to borrowing heavily from it while making Twelve Monkeys, and many suspect it also inspired The Terminator.
You can watch it online here
4. 41 (2012)
Another low budget time travel film, this time from Australia, written and directed by Glenn Triggs. Aidan leaves a lecture one day, to be confronted with another version of himself who warns him not to go to a local motel. Of course he has to investigate what is at the motel, unlocking a chain of events that ripple through time.
The whole film is available to view on Youtube
5. Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)
Not so much a time travel film as a ‘can he REALLY time travel?’ film. I wrote about it some time ago here, and it is still a little gem.
Please let me know your favourite time travel films, well-known or otherwise.