Time Code

Written and directed by Mike Figgis

So simply for its technical freshness, Time Code is eminently watchable, once you get used to the multiple-image composition. But it would be wrong to suggest that this novelty is the film's sole virtue. Despite the temptation to completely separate the technical aspects from the "content," it would be a disservice to do so.

Although the story itself may be thin, Figgis' technique allowed the actors to become truly absorbed in their roles, recapturing one of the virtues of stage performance most commonly lost on the big screen. And it provides a theatrical sense of closeness, as though we are bystanders in the midst of the action, only barely managing not to be noticed by the characters.

Not surprisingly, the excellent Skarsgård gives the most compelling performance, but Burrows, whose biggest exposure has been in the action films Deep Blue Sea and Wing Commander, reaches a similar intensity. The reality of the whole setup is convincing enough that, beyond those two, it's hard to single out particular performances. In the best sense, it appears as though we're simply surrounded by a group of real people.

Opens May 26 at the Tivoli.

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