"Paul Levinson's It's Real Life is a page-turning exploration into that multiverse known as rock and roll. But it is much more than a marvelous adventure narrated by a master storyteller...it is also an exquisite meditation on the very nature of alternate history." -- Jack Dann, The Fiction Writer's Guide to Alternate History

Monday, December 25, 2017

The Time We're In: Stopping Time

Stopping time is a highly effective but not often used technique in the time-travel genre, rich in possibilities for mischief and the most profound changes in human life.  Nicholson Baker's masterpiece The Fermata is an example mostly of the mischief variety - erotic mischief, to be more exact - in which the hero stops time to undress women (see my brief review here).  Likely because Baker is not seen as a science fiction writer, The Fermata is not usually considered to be science fiction or time travel, though Neil Gaiman and Robert Zemeckis are reportedly working on a screenplay (scroll down on that page).

The Time We're In is indisputably science fiction - with the hero doing copious research - and about as personally profound as it gets.  Gabriel and Nadia are having trouble conceiving.  Her doctors tell her she has a deadly tumor, presumably incurable.  Gabriel discovers there's a way to freeze time - which would give him all the time he needs to find a cure.

The 25-minute short, free on Amazon Prime, is beautifully written, directed, and otherwise rendered by Damon Stout (he does the music and film editing, too).  The acting is top notch, with Mike Falkow (seen in NCIS and Scorpion) and Mary Thornton (seen in Criminal Minds) in the lead roles.  Even the supporting acting is memorable, with John Kerry (not the former Secretary of State) as the older Gabriel, and various friends of the couple played with sensitivity (especially Brian Graham and Josette Eales).

The Time We're In could easily have relied on mysticism and magic.  But it took the steeper road of science - down to Gabriel explaining that he's not really stopping time but speeding it up, for himself, so he moves so fast everyone and everything else around him is in effect frozen.   When you have a chance, stop a little time for yourself, for 25 minutes, and see this movie.


It started in the hot summer of 1960, when Marilyn Monroe walked off the set of The Misfits and began to hear a haunting song in her head, "Goodbye Norma Jean" ...


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