Time Travel: Dangerous for Movie Characters, but Fun for Us!

The DVD cover for the film Groundhog Day.

Time travel, as a narrative device in fiction, opens up so many incredible storytelling possibilities. Granted, I barely believe in it as an actual real world possibility, but it sure is fun to ruminate on periodically. In fact, some of my favorite movies of all time include time travel as an element.

“Listen, and Understand. That Terminator Is Out There... And It Absolutely Will Not Stop, Ever, until You Are Dead!"

Cover art for the DVD of The Terminator.

In 1984, one of the last things that I thought would ever happen was for former body-builder Arnold Schwarzenegger to star in great movie. So convinced was I that it would never happen, that when it actually did, I almost didn't bother seeing it. The movie, of course, was The Terminator, which was also the first of many successes for filmmaker James Cameron.

Lovin' Lerner & Loewe

DVD cover of the 1958 movie Gigi.

Alan Jay Lerner & Frederick “Fritz” Loewe were a highly successful mid-twentieth century songwriting team that wrote lovely, romantic musicals for Broadway and Hollywood. Among their best-known shows are Paint Your Wagon, Brigadoon, My Fair Lady, Gigi, and Camelot.

Time Is of the Essence, Really

One of the most popular action series of recent years was 24, starring Kiefer Sutherland. What set the Fox show apart from other programs was that the action took place in real time, that is, the events shown onscreen represented the same amount of time that it took to watch them. Real time is an interesting narrative strategy. It hasn't been used a lot in TV or film, but several great TV episodes and movies have employed the device expertly.

South Korean Cinema

DVD cover of the Korean crime thriller Oldboy.

In the past fifteen years, South Korea's domestic film industry has had a renaissance, emerging as a producer of quality cinema whose best films once again outperform megabudget foreign releases from Hollywood and elsewhere. In the process, South Korean movies have gained an international audience, as well.


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