Timecrimes

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Los Cronocrímenes
Cronocrimenes.jpg
Timecrimes movie poster
Design by Barfutura
Directed by Nacho Vigalondo
Produced by Eduardo Carneros
Jorge Gómez
Written by Nacho Vigalondo
Starring Karra Elejalde
Nacho Vigalondo
Candela Fernández
Bárbara Goenaga
Music by Eugenio Mira
Cinematography Flavio Martinez Labiano
Edited by Jose Luis Romeu
Distributed by Karbo Vantas Entertainment
Release dates
September 20, 2007
(USA, Fantastic Fest)
October 11, 2007 (Spain)
Running time
92 minutes
Country Spain
Language Spanish
Budget $2,600,000
Box office $553,198 (Worldwide)

Timecrimes (Spanish: Los Cronocrímenes) is a 2007 science fiction film with a time loop plot, written and directed by Nacho Vigalondo.

Plot[edit]

In the Spanish countryside, a middle-aged man named Héctor (Karra Elejalde) and his wife (Candela Fernández) live in a home that they are renovating. Héctor scans the forest behind their house with binoculars and sees a young woman take off her t-shirt, exposing her breasts. When his wife goes shopping, he investigates and finds the woman on the ground, naked and unconscious. He is then stabbed in the arm by a mysterious man with pink bandages on his face. Fleeing and breaking into a mysterious nearby building, Héctor contacts a scientist (Nacho Vigalondo) by walkie-talkie, who warns him of the bandaged man and guides him to his location, promising safety. The scientist convinces Héctor to hide from the bandaged man, who is just outside, in a large mechanical device. However, when he leaves the machine, Héctor discovers that he has traveled approximately an hour back in time.

The scientist explains that the machine is an experimental time travel device, and refers to Héctor as "Héctor 2". The scientist tells him that they need to stay where they are and let events unfold. Despite the scientist's warning, Héctor 2 drives off in a car, passing a cyclist, only to be run off the road by a van, cutting his head, which he wraps using the bandage from his arm wound. The bandage turns pink from absorbing the blood. The cyclist approaches to see if he is all right - it is the woman he earlier saw in the forest. He proceeds to replicate events by making her undress in view of Héctor 1. When she runs away, he catches her, inadvertently knocking her out. He lays her out naked on the ground and then stabs Hector 1 in the arm when he arrives. The woman escapes. Héctor 2 returns to his home, where he hears a scream and chases a woman through his house and onto the roof. When he attempts to grab her, she slips and falls to her death. Seeing the body from the roof, Héctor 2 is horrified, believing he has killed his own wife.

Héctor then contacts the scientist over a walkie-talkie and convinces him to lure Héctor's past self to the lab with warnings that he is being pursued. Driving to the lab, Héctor 2 insists that he must travel back one more time, despite the scientist revealing that there is a Héctor 3, who told him he must stop Héctor 2 from doing just that.

After removing his bandages, Hector 3 convinces the scientist to send him back several seconds before Héctor 2 appears. He finds a van and runs Héctor 2 off the road, but crashes as well, knocking himself out. Upon waking, he informs the scientist he has failed and to stop Héctor 2 by any means. He encounters the woman again, startling her into screaming, though she does not recognize him as her assailant. Since Héctor 2 has heard her scream, Héctor 3 and the woman flee to Héctor's house. They become separated. Héctor 3 finds and hides his wife, then realizes what has to happen / will happen / has already happened. He finds the woman, cuts her ponytail off, gives her his wife's coat, and tells her to hide upstairs. Héctor 2 chases her onto the roof. Héctor 3 sits on his lawn with his wife, as Héctor 2 accidentally kills the woman, then drives off. Emergency vehicles are heard approaching in the distance.

Cast[edit]

  • Karra Elejalde as Héctor
  • Candela Fernandez as Clara
  • Barbara Goenaga as the woman in the forest
  • Nacho Vigalondo as the scientist
  • Juan Inciarte as Occasional Héctor

Inspiration[edit]

In the documentary Future Shock! The Story of 2000 AD Nacho Vigalondo credits 2000 AD as the biggest influence on Timecrimes, particularly the Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons one-off “Chronocops” from #310, 1983.[1]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Los Cronocrímenes has a "certified fresh" score on Rotten Tomatoes based on 70 reviews with an average rating of 7 out of 10. The critical consensus states, "Los Cronocrímenes is a low-budget thriller that's well-crafted and loaded with dark humor and bizarre twists."[2] The film also has a score of 68 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 15 critics indicating "generally favorable reviews."[3]

Jeannette Catsoulis of The New York Times noted the role of female frontal nudity and fast-paced action in making a time-travel film with no special effects. She praised writer/director Nacho Vigalondo's "audacity" in being able to create "urgency and disorientation from the thinnest of air" despite the film's low budget and lack of special effects.[4] Wesley Morris of The Boston Globe doubted whether Los Cronocrimenes actually makes sense but credited Vigalondo with making clever use of the time machine in order to allay the viewer's skepticism. Referring to the planned remake by director David Cronenberg, and alluding to Héctor's "human sequels", Morris concluded that Los Cronocrimenes "deserves a doppelganger".[5] In a retrospective, A. A. Dowd of The A.V. Club interprets the film as an allegory about adultery, as Hector's increasingly complex and confusing actions resemble those of someone lying to hide an affair.[6]

Accolades[edit]

  • Best Picture at 2007 Fantastic Fest (USA)
  • Gold Medal of Jury Award Competition in 2007 Fantastic Fest (USA)
  • Silver Medal of Audience Award Competition in 2007 Fantastic Fest (USA)

Remake[edit]

An English language remake was originally planned to happen with United Artists, however the project never came into fruition and hit a deadline with no product. The project has moved to DreamWorks with Steve Zaillian attached to write and produce.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Goodwin, Paul (Director) (2014) Future Shock! The Story of 2000 AD. London: Metrodome.
  2. ^ http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/time_crimes/
  3. ^ http://www.metacritic.com/movie/timecrimes
  4. ^ Catsoulis, Jeannette (12 December 2008). "Time Marches Backward, Determination Forward". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 June 2011. 
  5. ^ Morris, Wesley (23 January 2009). "Time is of the essence in metaphysical thriller". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 3 June 2011. 
  6. ^ Dowd, A. A. (15 November 2013). "Adultery is the real crime of Timecrimes". The A. V. Club. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  7. ^ Timecrimes remake studio move at Moviefone blog

External links[edit]