The Use of Time Travel in Cinema and Film

The concept of time travel is a subject that has often captured the imagination and sets of cinema production. It is often portrayed in images of the future or in past events. Three films, which depict the concept of time travel, are “La Jetee,” “Back to the Future,” and “The Time Machine.” Each film is remarkable in its own way and demonstrates that film to a certain extent works like a time machine and is a metaphor for cinema.

“La Jetee”, created by Chris Marker in 1962, focuses on the time travel of a man held in captivity who escapes his state of mind and his deplorable conditions. He is injected with a substance that allows him to move into the past and future through his mind. The scientist who controls the experiment believes that the only way to escape the present state of ruin is to see what is in store for the future. Instead, the man travels back in time where he is able to talk to a woman who had been the subject of his dreams. This woman serves as an attachment to memory and an allusion to a childhood memory. After meeting her he desires to return to the past while the scientists want him to move on to the future.

In the film “Back to the Future” the theme focuses on the memory of the past and events that happen in the future. When a brilliant professor and friend gets shot by terrorists, Michael Fox’s character goes back in time to try and change history so that the professor’s murder never occurs. The film is able to go from one realm and dimension to another by blacking out the screen to divert the viewer’s attention from the current scene as the image of a scarecrow on a farm helps bridge the gap. Finally, in the movie “The Time Machine” the plot is very similar to “Back to the Future” in that the main character wants to prevent the death of a friend or loved one. In addition, the main transportation from the present to the future or past is a machine rather than the human mind. Although the main character fails at saving his wife he begins to pursue his quest for time travel.

I think that time travel serves as a metaphor for cinema itself. The concept of time travel involves going through space and time to another place. Cinema is very much like time travel. The experience of watching a film involves sitting down and transforming yourself into another place and time and immersing yourself in a new journey occurring before you.

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