BAD TIMING: an essay on the passing of time in screenplays


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What time is it? It’s time. – Action
clock 1Has this ever happened to you? You’re watching a movie, a TV show, and suddenly a character mentions that “we’ve been dating for six weeks now” or “next week is out first anniversary” or “it seemed like only yesterday that I started this job and now I’m retiring”, and your reaction is, “but I did think it was only yesterday that you started that job, when did fifty years pass?”
Or maybe you’re watching a movie about a character and the story isn’t quite making sense and suddenly you figure out indirectly that the character is supposed to be in high school and your reaction is, “My god, he looks old enough to be my grandfather?”
Yeah, join the club.
In this essay I’m going to talk about two subjects that only have something to do with each other in a somewhat vague way, though they do at times overlap and have one thing in common: they both relate to time. So, though they are not exactly similar, I think it’s easiest to talk about them as if they had a closer connection than one might think. So… Continue reading