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"Wehikuł Czasu” / “Time Machine” Short Film Review

Updated: May 10, 2021


Directed by: Maciek Kaliski

Written by: Maciek Kaliski


This is an experimental short from Maciek Kaliski which is the second in what is to be a series of shorts that he is putting together for a feature film. "Wehikuł Czasu” Polish for “Time Machine” takes a look at the directors personal memories using some recent imagery interwoven with a small selection of home video clips collected overtime, assumed from his own childhood, up to the present day.

The film begins with more recent imagery made up of mostly static shots filmed in black and white. There are shots looking out of a suburban house window, a clock ticking, a plant pot on the window sill, which all give a general feeling of the passing of time. The sound is like a wildtrack of background noises with children playing, a dog barking, the weather in different seasons … and the ticking clock. Photographic negatives are then overlayed on some of these black and white shots of a lake before we are introduced to the home video footage of Christmas time with presumably his family. There is a child (presumably himself), Christmas presents around a Christmas tree and a Christmas dinner from different years but this time all in colour. There is little to no dialogue and the only speaking is in Polish, which is captured on the home video. It then switches back and forth with the more recently taken footage, that includes building work on a house and the strange inclusion of a view to a brick wall shot on its side.

These video memories included alongside more recent activities must all have a personal relevance to the title of the piece “Time Machine”. The director’s personal time machine no doubt. As an arty film, if Maciek Kaliski becomes a famous auteur, we might look at this as a significant moment in his filmography, as it stands it’s a convoluted collage of home video clips pasted together showing a few different events all blended together with recent cutaways of things presumably relevant in his life or symbolic about life in general.

The idea itself is an interesting one to explore memories past and present and it would be well suited as an art installation somewhere, perhaps exploring the power of memory vis-a-vis the power of video, but as a short film on its own it was a rather overly personal watch that needed further explanation as to any poignancy.



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