Review: Timecode

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Curiously charming

The winner of last year's Short Film Palme D'or proves worthy of its victory, offering an imaginative journey through the tenderness and ferocity of expression and vulnerability.

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With the recent release of Damien Chazelle’s hotly anticipated, strikingly acclaimed musical La La Land, it looks as if the Hollywood musical, complete with handfuls of original scores and glittering dance numbers, is finally back. But it’s not all sequins and show business for those paving the way for film, in fact almost the opposite for Juanjo Giménez Peña’s recent short film Timecode, which follows parking lot security guards Luna and Diego in a quaint journey through the expression of dance and raw communication.

Having won the Short Film Palme D’or at last year’s celebrated Cannes Film Festival, Timecode revels in its portrayal of dance, which at no point strays into the tempting realm of extravagance or emotional fatigue. In just fifteen short, nearly utterly silent minutes, Luna and Diego’s relationship is painted before us, as peculiar and poignant as it evolves. Raw, impassioned, and at times bizarrely awkward, it digs into themes of voyeurism in the modern world, and the threat it brings on human vulnerability and expression. And with little conclusion, that’s an expression that could go on to take any form – and it does.

It tiptoes around the two guards, Luna who works the day shift and Diego who works the night, just as Luna is led to watch the CCTV footage from the night before, showing Diego dancing silently around the building. The next day Luna brings herself to expose her own passion before one of the cameras for Diego to find, and so begins a charming odyssey into an outlandish friendship explored only through the ferocity and energy they bring silently to one another. It’s honestly an impressive feat of imagination.

Proving that sparkles, sequins and lavish scores aren’t all that necessary for an effective film littered with dance numbers, Timecode proves well worthy of its Palme D’or win, and even more worthy of just as much public recognition.

Timecode, directed by Juanjo Giménez Peña, is distributed through Marvin & Wayne.

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Second year Film and English student forever spending student loan on pizza and DVDs. Can usually be found rambling about films and music or trying to write films and music.

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