The End of Time Screen 5 articles

The End of Time


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  • Early on, Mettler's voiceover narration describes, quite ponderously, the process of refraction by which rainbows are made visible — cause enough for wonder, even if it's the sort of thing explained to schoolchildren... More successful are its nonverbal qualities: Mettler, who shot all of this himself, is a deft director of photography, and the years of globe-trotting that constitute his shoot have yielded much natural beauty.

  • Few things are as simultaneously terrifying and liberating as the notion of time’s relativity... Peter Mettler’s ruminative, frequently astounding essay film doesn’t just contemplate this notion; it aims to cinematically embody it. From the sun’s surface to the deep earth, Hawaiian volcanoes to Detroit’s decay, Mettler explores the different ways that we experience and define time, using his own documentary as a mind-bending demonstration of its mutability.

  • The End of Time is less interesting when offering explicit insights of commentators—including Mettler himself, who contributes a drawling, stoner-ish voiceover—than when letting images do the work, following digressive turns that don’t obviously build up to an essayistic argument but are immensely suggestive nonetheless.

  • It’s easy to mock some of these platitudes, and it’s to Mr. Mettler’s credit that he never does. His questions are answered with more questions, because words seem ultimately useless in his query. What is more interesting is listening to the pacing of his subjects.

  • This narration can be risible ("Things don't have names; we just made them up"), but the stunning, poetic images more than make up for it, inducing a meditative trance.

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