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Time After Time

by Roberto Friedman
Wednesday May 15, 2013

By now we've had the chance to experience artist Christian Marclay's masterpiece of video editing "The Clock" at SFMOMA during three different visits in its 24-hour duration. We've dipped into it from 11:50 a.m.-2:20 p.m., from 3 p.m.-6:30 p.m., and from 8:15 p.m.-12:10 a.m. This last spell was thanks to a special late-night viewing for Director's Circle and Artist's Circle members, but the museum is hosting all-night screenings for the general public on all Saturday nights in May.

From these hours of viewing - really, meditating on - "The Clock," we've come to certain conclusions. The unprecedented "real-time" nature of the artwork - that is, when it's 8:23 p.m. onscreen, it's 8:23 p.m. in the screening room as well - perfectly shows how we're all caught up in this giant web together that we call Time. Everyone in "The Clock" is checking their wristwatch, or a clock, all the time - criminals, cops, call girls, socialites, gunslingers, goons. Time is what we all have in common, above all else. Time is also the only dimension that we can't move through at will, so it is constantly defeating us, upstaging us, showing us who's boss. We're all Time's bitch.

We're considering returning to The Clock during one of its all-night runs. We're curious to see what could be happening onscreen at, say, 4:36 a.m. But we also like the fact that there's a huge part of this artwork, in the wee hours, that will be seen by very few - that will remain the dark side of the moon.

Here are a few ways Out There did spend our time recently: We attended a special concert featuring Michael Feinstein at the all-new Feinstein's at the Nikko. Backed by a five-piece combo, Feinstein opened the new cabaret room in grand style.

We joined JuntoBox Films along with the San Francisco Film Society in celebrating the new A2E: Artist to Entrepreneur program for filmmakers, last Thursday night at 1300 Fillmore. Co-chaired by Forest Whitaker, JuntoBox is a collaborative film studio that ties social development into film production, including financing and distribution. Maybe it was because most of these filmmakers were young, or because OT is old enough to be their biological daddy, but we kept on misreading the company name as "Juice Box."

We caught up with director Terrence Malick 's new film "To the Wonder," which we enjoyed for its visual sense and use of music. It's more about abstract concepts - light, love, restlessness - than about any linear story that might involve its characters. That was OK with us, personally we find narrative overrated, but we were brought to the wonder: If you're going to eliminate character, story, any sort of meaningful dialogue from your film, why would you go ahead and cast stars of the Hollywood and international film worlds? Also, we missed the dinosaurs from Malick's The Tree of Life. Now, those mothers knew how to twirl.

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