The Clock {film}

Christian Marclay’s “The Clock” {new yorker; no subscription required} is the world’s most ambitious mashup film. For each minute of film, a clip is taken from an existing film that shows a clock displaying that corresponding time.

In other words, after you’ve been watching the film for 36 minutes, the film is showing a minute-long clip from a movie that shows a physical clock at 12:36am. And so on, and so on, until the time reaches 11:59pm and you’ve been watching clocks for a full 24 hours, drawing from over 10,000 movie clips.

And two excerpts from the article:

And there are, of course, clocks galore. This includes clocks of the wall, mantel, grandfather and bedside-table variety; clocks on steeples, towers, dashboards and bombs; and clocks in train stations, shop windows and spaceships as well as the occasional hourglass and sundial. And then there are watches, which are smashed, pawned, handed down from father to son, and used as weapons. (All the James Bonds are here.) They slide down the wrists of murder victims, turn up at crime scenes and even provide forensic evidence.

Each afternoon, Marclay was presented fresh clips: the “catch of the day.” At first, he was merely collecting scattered files, but eventually he had enough to forge “hinges” between them. The more hinges he came up with, the more inventive they got. At 10:30 P.M., Marclay realized, a shot of David Strathairn, delivering the news as Edward R. Murrow in “Good Night, and Good Luck,” could slide into Dustin Hoffman, in “Tootsie,” watching television. To create continuity, the Murrow dialogue was extended into the “Tootsie” clip, at muffled volume.

And here’s a clip:

It played in New York, and will soon return, to the Lincoln Center this summer.