Dear Dustin —
This is you. Future Dustin. I’m writing to you from one hour in the future. It’s difficult to explain. You’ll understand in about an hour. I’m writing to let you know that you’ve met your match. For the next hour, you will struggle mightily to explain the premise of TimeCrimes, a bizarre mindfuck of a little time-traveling movie. It’s an impossible task. Don’t bother.
As you’re reading this, you just finished watching Timecrimes (now on DVD). Your brain is still a little disoriented. It hurts to think too hard, right? It’s OK. You’ll start to come out of it in about an hour, when you decide to compose this letter to yourself. I just received a similar letter, from a version of ourselves an hour into my future (that’s two hours into your future). It’s suggesting that I not bother with this letter, but since my future self is telling me not to send this letter to you, you’ll understand why I have no choice but to do so. If I didn’t, Dustin one hour from now (two hours from now, your time) would have no reason to send the letter he just sent to me telling me not to send you a letter. So, clearly, I have to send you the letter so as to not disrupt the future, because — when you’re dealing with time travel — the future and the past are dangerously intertwined.
Confusing, isn’t it? A lot like the movie, huh? It makes sense while you’re watching it, but try explaining it to someone else. Am I right? A guy named Hector (Karra Elajalde) comes home from the store after buying his wife a table. He receives a strange phone call. He goes outside with his binoculars and spies a woman getting undressed. He decides to walk into the woods to see if the naked woman is OK. There, Hector is stabbed in the arm by a man with bandages around his head. The man with the bandaged-head chases Hector into a silo, where Hector hides from the man with bandages in a time machine. The time machine sends Hector back an hour, where — with his binoculars — he sees himself coming home with a table for his wife. In order to ensure that his old self winds up back at the silo (thus preventing two versions of himself from existing concurrently and eternally), Hector sets into motion the events that brought the old Hector to the time machine in the first place. He calls his old self. He crashes his car and wraps bandages around his face to stop the bleeding. He forces a woman to get undressed in the woods. When his old self comes into the woods to see if the woman is OK, Hector stabs his old self in the arm, and then chases him into the silo. But, something goes terribly wrong. So, he has to send himself back again to keep his second self from causing the tragic mishap that occurred when he was trying to ensure that his first self made it back to the silo.
Your mind just broke, didn’t it? Imagine what our readers are thinking. In fact, the version of myself one hour from now (two hours from your time) is telling me that the review did not go over very well, which is why he is asking me not to write this letter to you, because he says that you will simply post this letter in lieu of a review. He’s telling me to tell you not to do that. But of course, you must. Otherwise, you’ll disrupt the future, which can have dire implications on the past.
However, once you do come to your senses and write this letter, at least tell your readers that they really should give Timecrimes a chance, particularly if they are into time-travel movies. And that, unlike many other time-travel movies (The Lake House, for instance), there are no holes in the logic of Timecrimes. It’s a tight, gripping, logically sound, weird, funny, very cool little thriller. And that writer/director Nacho Vigalondo, despite having a name that sounds like something you’d really like to eat an hour from now, is one stupendous director. I would, however, warn you not to tell your readers that Timecrimes is a foreign film with subtitles (and one that is currently being developed for an American remake), because some of your readers may steer clear of it. However, if you do mention that it’s a foreign film, you should also mention that there are boobies in it, so perhaps those readers scared off by subtitles will be drawn back in by boobies.
Got it? Cool.
Dear Dustin —
This is you. Future Dustin. I’m writing to you from one hour in the future. It’s difficult to explain. You’ll understand in about an hour. I’m writing to let you know that you’ve met your match. For the next hour, you will struggle mightily to explain the premise of TimeCrimes, a bizarre mindfuck of a little time-traveling movie. It’s an impossible task. Don’t bother …