DATELINE: MOVIE MASHUP
We begin with a timely end.
The End of Time by Canadian filmmaker Peter Mettler is one of those documentary movies that we prefer not to talk about. We want to keep this extradordinary cult film to ourselves. We don’t want others criticizing it, misunderstanding it, or worse fawning over it with false praise.
The film meanders around the time/space continuum. Whether we are at a funeral pyre in India, or watching the slow progress of lava in Hawaii marking both a beginning and end, we are acutely aware that time is a thief, a crook, a misbegotten monster, and our captor.
Mettler throws together everything from time lapse surprises to an ice cream truck ringing its chimes through the empty streets of decaying Detroit. We try to put our mind around the concept that time is the same word as weather in other languages and cultures.
Spectacular images from the film’s start include footage of a free fall off a balloon by a man in 1957 from 20 miles above Earth.
We can find ourselves spinning with the Cern collider or watching the stars from a planetarium’s mountaintop.
The narration is minimal by director Mettler, almost matter of fact. After all, what can you say about something evasive and cruel?
Does time exist at all? Is it merely the vanity of the semi-intelligent creatures who populate this corner of the universe?
No, we want to keep this film our personal secret. To watch it now and then a hundred times will not waste time.