Time Indefinite

Austin Chronicle


REVIEWED: 04-06-98

In Time Indefinite, a sequel of sorts to Sherman's March, McElwee explores this tension, claiming that his films are simply an expression of his love. True to his word, Time Indefinite begins as a worrisome love song to both his family and his new wife Marilyn, with McElwee offering his (sometimes indulgent) reflections on marriage, childbirth, and family. This slightly neurotic/slightly charming lullaby, however, is interrupted by a series of personal tragedies, and Time Indefinite wheels abruptly and turns into an extended meditation on mortality, loss, and the power of memory. McElwee's insistence on probing these personal disasters gives the film an incredible rawness and realism that makes for the most compelling documentary; he also seems to be learning when to shut his camera off. Time Indefinite is an often grueling film, not nearly so lighthearted as Sherman's March, as McElwee finds himself trapped in a "morbid metaphysical feedback loop" -- a loop he escapes only by finding (and filming) affirmations of life in and amongst the death. It is a serious watch.

--Jay Hardwig

Other Films by Ross McElwee
Sherman's March
Six O'Clock News

Film Vault Suggested Links
Hoop Dreams
Soul in the Hole

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