October 6, 2017
Watch: Why You Should Study 'Twin Peaks: The Return' if You Want to Experiment with Time
Nolan and Tarantino took a cue from Lynch. Would you?
More than perhaps any other creative medium, film enables narrative time travel. Immediately, and without any preamble, a story can jump from its present back into its past or fast-forward into its future, and usually viewers simply accept it, often enjoying it. In fact, it would be difficult to think of any film that doesn’t expand or contract time in some way, with jumps from scene to scene or from one character’s perspective to another.
Lynch continually adjusts and re-adjusts our sense of time, to disorienting but also enlightening effect.
Some directors have historically played with time frames in a self-conscious way, making sure we know time is being manipulated, and the effect of this sort of open switching and flip-flopping is usually the deepening and broadening of the film’s symbolism. Christopher Nolan did this to memorable effect in Memento. Quentin Tarantino changed American film by doing it in Pulp Fiction.