A reel of still photographs run at zoetrope speed recreates a sequence in time. Each image is a frozen moment unspooling in darkness and our memory-theater revisits each frame. Time code allows the filmmaker to overlay the sounds of dialogue or ambience that match each passing moment. Our memories are one continuous reel moving past the light of recall and struggling to add all the sensory details that accompanied our moments. We each have a unique time code that might even be part of the spiraling codes of our DNA.
Moments of the past swim by or perhaps are on the wing as they move by us, now just memories. In our dreams and reverie, the time code might be relaxed as image and sound dance our past in a slow waltz. Nightmares or a sudden panic of recall might speed up the time code so that it is always on some kind of collision course. Like recording technology that allows one to slow down or speed up a musical passage without changing its pitch, we can run our time code at whatever speed the temperature of memory is recreating. Are any of these mind films the real event now that they exist in the altered worlds of recall? Perhaps all of our notions of history – the flow of time and how we might fit into it – are all distorted by the way memory tinkers with time code. Is the film all that was gathered in while shooting it or are we just aware of what isn’t lying about on the cutting room floor?
“What time is it, Yogi?”
“You mean now?”