Time-travel films, plus others (#SFWApro)

MEMOIRS OF A SURVIVOR (1981) is a tedious post-apocalyptic fantasy based on a novel by Doris Lessing, wherein Julie Christie watches over her foster-daughter in a rather blandly collapsed London—all that really indicates the apocalypse is rationing and lots of trash bags piled around. This qualifies for the book due to Christie discovering she can walk through her living room wall and into the Victorian age. As she never does anything there but watch, it only qualifies for the appendix; I’d suggest double-billing with Jubilee where the time traveler is also passive and irrelevant.  “If we catch you, we’ll eat him.”

I saw THE COLD ROOM (1981) for Cyborgs, Santa Claus and Satan and would happily never have seen it again. However I saw it listed as a possible time-travel tale on one website so I rewatched the story of Amanda Pays visiting Berlin with estranged father George Segal, then finding herself a young woman in WW II, trying to hide a Jewish lover from the Nazis. However as this is clearly the result of possession-induced flashbacks rather than time travel, it’s not for the book. “You did your part, helping us find the Jew.”

BACK IN TIME (2015) is a documentary on Back to the Future and BTF fandom that offers some interesting details (not much I didn’t know already, and almost nothing I need to include in the book). Primarily and unsurprisingly, it’s a Rah Rah Rah, Greatest Movie Ever kind of documentary that skips over the awkward questions raised in Worlds of Back to the Future (accepting the sunny view of the 1950s as gospel, for instance, and not reacting to Zemeckis’ assertion that Of Course they didn’t want Jennifer playing an active role in BTF II). And the fandom stuff is generic—the kind of rides and fan enthusiasm you could find associated with any hit film.  “I didn’t realize the Delorean was a real car.”

AMAPOLA (2014) is an Argentinian time-travel fantasy (so it goes in the appendix) in which a woman in the 1960s gets a fast-forward to 1982 (marked by Argentina fighting off unprovoked British aggression in the Falklands), seeing her family’s Tragic Fate, then coming back to fix things. Forgettable. “It’s only a dream—but you’re dreaming it for a purpose.”

THE SPOOK WHO SAT BY THE DOOR (1973) is a blacksploitation film in which the CIA’s token black agent (“You’re a credit to your race.”) takes what he’s learned about field ops and uses it to start a black revolutionary movement in the Chicago streets (“You say it can’t work? Tell that to Algeria.”). While a product of its time, it’s depressing to realize how much some scenes of the National Guard policing the streets resemble Ferguson. Definitely worth catching “In a guerilla movement, you win by not moving—you can’t fall out of bed if you sleep on the floor!”

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1 Comment

Filed under Movies, Now and Then We Time Travel

One response to “Time-travel films, plus others (#SFWApro)

  1. Pingback: Calvin & Hobbes, religious epics & time travel: movies I’ve watched (#SFWApro) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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