Welcome to the latest edition of 24 Frames. Sahara Shrestha and Andrew Jamieson will be guiding you through the exciting, confusing and often brilliant world of 'film'. Expect news, trailers and plenty of opinion.

The latest edition is brought to you by Andrew Jamieson, who can be found on twitter over at @theghostwriterc.



Time Travellers: Another look at Looper:

Welcome to a new feature where we will be looking back over any movie from years gone by to give a new viewpoint on established movies, old school masterpieces and some modern classics from the previous year and beyond! I hope that as all of our readers settle in for a home video showing each weekend that this feature will offer you some fresh ideas about a movie you haven't seen yet; or a new perspective on a movie you have wanted to watch again and will enjoy treasuring on your own or with friends and family. My first review in this series is Rian Johnson's Looper that was widely well reviewed last year, but ad sat dormant on my shelf for the past few months. After watching it again I would describe it as the best science fiction since Ridley Scott's Blade Runner.

I remember when the movie came out last year and all of the message boards were going crazy about the time travel elements of the story. I always found any attempts to dissect the minutia of a science fiction story that concerns time travel to be superfluous at best as it's kind of like debating how Superman flies; pointless.

The reaction to the movie reminded me of the inert gasps and answer seeking that surrounded the seminal Christopher Nolan film Inception from 2010 or Mullholland Drive (David Lynch 2001). The director Rian Johnson, who directed the brilliant Brick, and his stars Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon Levitt and Emily Blunt clearly wanted to do what all archetypal movies should do, which is to ask emotive questions concerning character and story. I would compare the film to Neil Jordan's new movie Byzantium in the sense that the only reason to use well worn Hollywood and story telling tropes is to give the human existence a broader scale than could be found within a narrative that is grounded in reality. Yes all of the fun science fiction time travel elements are here (with some disturbing new ones too) but what the film does so well is to tell a story with one theme running through the film. The power of loss, the power of self determination and ultimately how we leave our mark on a world, its people and its history.

I remember an article in the brilliant Sight and Sound magazine in which it was claimed that Looper was bordering on being a misogynistic and flawed movie that offered nothing more than the work of James Cameron's Terminator films or Terry Gilliam's Twelve Monkeys. I was riled by this claim upon seeing the movie because the film is primarily concerned with the effect that women have on their family, lovers and the world around them. The male characters are defined by the women they have loved or the mother who has shaped them into who they are; whether negative or positive, the women define these men.

Once the film is allowed to settle down after a blistering first hour, it is a tinderbox of intimate moments with male characters who are morally ambiguous and a woman who is the emotive centre of the movie. As the narrative unfolds we learn small pieces of information that show that each man is destroyed subconsciously or primarily by: their mother in the Levitt character, (take note of when he stops a car and almost runs down a small child who he sees as who he was) and his lover in the older version of that character played by Bruce Willis. The only character that has made quick decisions to move away from her past and not let it define her is the Emily Blunt character (Sara). She represents the beauty and hope that we see in the desire and love of femininity, an astonishingly subtle scene shows that she is also defined by her sexuality. Sara is a real woman and this portrayal moves away from the stereotypical portrayal of women on screen to be either angel or whore, rather than primarily a person.

I think that usually within a science fiction film the contexts are so broad and ambiguously brilliant that at times a concentration on characters and their themes can be lost (I would even place Blade Runner in that category- as much as I love it!). Therefore it is clear that Looper is not only a cracking great wallop of a time travel movie, it also understands how the passage of time affects our own existential experience and our history. It is these reasons that I hope I will always believe it is one of the best science fiction movies ever made. So please rent it, buy it or pull it back off the shelf. As time passes, you won't forget it in a hurry. Please join me again next week for another joyous journey back through the past…


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