'Le Temps De Mourir' ('The Time To Die'), is a film that is all about time, but which, unlike most other films and TV shows, manages to respect it and use it in a responsible, adult manner. Here time is not plastic, mouldable, malleable, but inexorable, inevitable, inescapable. Time is a bastard, ladies and gentlemen, fuck with it at your peril.
A time-warped whodunnit, the film begins with a collison between a horse, a beautiful girl and a metal tree which leads to a reel of futuristic video tape rolling down a hill and into the path of a sleeping man. The man and his colleague watch the film, only to find it is surveillence camera footage of their Boss being shot to death by an unknown, but (crucially) not unseen, assailant.
The Boss, however, is not dead: he is alive, well, and bullet hole free. He rapidly becomes obsessed with finding out what it all means: is it a fake, a prank, a collective hallucination, or a vision of the future? Is it already written, or can it be revised? Will intervention stop it, or hasten it? Well, what do you think?
A superb looking, singular film, 'A Time To Die' has much to recommend it, not least that it presents a future that looks pretty much like the present, except that technology has moved on. Ironically, it all looks quite quaint now, all spools of tape and press buttons, but that's hardly the point - it anticipates a world where nobody does anything without Googling it first.
|Always a good start.|
|Future TV: don't make 'em bigger, just get two.|
|The French art equivalent of that dancing paperclip.|
Everything about this film is cool. It reminds me some particularly hip jazz - no squawking sax or atonal key pounding (I'm not averse to that, by the way, but this film is a masterpiece of control) - just a smooth, irresistible, intelligent groove - a head nodder, a finger clicker. It's all beautifully enigmatic, and only just makes sense if you mentally squint really hard.
|You are, Monsieur.|
Finally, the film stars Anna Karina, the gorgeous Dane who made her name during the nouvelle vague for her appearances in her then husband Jean-Luc Godard's films. I love Anna very much, and her presence in a film always makes it better, escept for The Magus, where it makes it worse, because it wastes her talent and Michael Caine is nasty to her.
So, perfect Friday night fodder: weird, wired, arty, clever, Anna Karina and guns. Who could ask for anything more?