The Sticky Fingers of Time
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Writer-director Hilary Brougher, during a four-week Super-16mm shoot, made her directorial debut with this low-budget time-travel tale about '50s journalist-novelist Tucker Harding (Terumi Matthews), author of The Sticky Fingers of Death. Transported from 1950 Brooklyn to the present, Tucker meets Drew (Nicole Zaray), who's just ended her relationship with used bookstore clerk Dex (Leo Marks). In the store, Drew stumbles across a copy of Tucker's novel and is intrigued to find, inside the book, a newspaper clipping describing Tucker's death 40 years earlier. Hilary Brougher describes this as "a story of two women, both New York area writers...entangled in non-linear time travel. There's virtually no special effects, so it's all in the head. The challenge is to make the audience believe that you're moving back and forth in time. And film, of course, lends itself to time travel." Shown at the 1997 Venice and Toronto film festivals. ~ Bhob Stewart, Rovi
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So..I was a little hesitant to purchase "The Sticky Fingers Of Time" as it clocks in at only 82 minutes.
Something made me reconsider my own rule, though and I purchased up a copy here at Amazon. This was based soley on the fact that I'd read a small article on this production in Filmmaker Magazine about a year ago. The title of the film stuck in my head; as did the description that mentioned "time travelling lesbian".
Time Travelling Lesbians? Yea, we don't get many of those types of films - so the name stayed with me.
And there it was one day, popping up on Amazon and I bought it.
Cut to the chase - yes, I'm happy I did. There are several reasons.
The first reason, the production values are right on! They are excellent. The production design and sets perfectly place the "time freaks" in the correct year.
The second reason, well - this is just an engaging story. So engaging, actually, that I was disappointed when it ended, wanting the story to continue off on another tangent.
To describe this film would be difficult at best. Yes, it is about time travel but not "Star Trek worm-hole space time continuim" sort of sci-fi stuff, it's just something that happens.
Interestingly enough, that is my one complaint, if I can call it that ... is that there is not enough plot spent on the "time travel" aspect of the story. It is well explained and defined, but it did leave me wanting more information.
Basically, this is a well told three main-character story. There are other characters, obviously, but the main three are people who...well, they call themselves "time freaks" and oddly enough - they don't seem surprised or even particularily alarmed at their ability to move about in "time".
Ultimately, you could describe this as a "time-travelling-lesbian-themed-sci-fi-murder-mystery".
It does take a few minutes to get sucked into the story, but it's worth the short wait for the story to unfold.
It sure would have made a great "Twilight Zone", that's for sure.
I will definitely recommend this independent film. It has more than competent actors, a fun and engaging script, and excellent production values.
You'll enjoy your 82 minutes.
It's got the "makes ya think" riffs in it that sucked me into Star Trek and Arthur C Clarke as a child. Plus, it's got a cute nerdy bisexual female lead character, and manual typewriters. *Swoon*.
Something for everyone.
It's a garage production, no special effects, and completely successful in what it attempts. It plays some interesting games with the traditionally linear storyline, as well, not unlike the deviations in Pulp Fiction and Mememento.
I give the movie several thumbs-ups. Can't wait to see what's on the DVD.
One is for the past
One is for the present
And three is the future
And four is for what could have been
And five for yet could be
Writer Tucker (Terumi Matthews) in Alice in Wonderland style unwittingly follows her mysterious beau from 1953 to 1997 and is involved in an attempt to change the past.
We are introduces to several story threads and personalities. As we try to keep up with this non-linier story. Can the past and future really be changed or does what we do Stick.
The film has that independent sight, sound, and feel; Shot on special color and black and whit film. The use of super 16 film and the second unit using 8 mm gives this film an other worldly look. They manage not to shake it as in Blair Witch.
On thing I like it the book that they created "The sticky fingers of time" It plays a part of keeping the continuity of the story and right up to the last has significance.
One of the time freaks explains that time travel is like eating a pie. You can eat the slices in any order, but you can only eat each slice once. So The Sticky Fingers of Time is different from a lot of time-travel stories, where the time traveller keeps going back to change something and either (a) eventually gets it right (like Donnie Darko) or (b) learns that fate can't be changed (like Twelve Monkeys).
In this story, Drew, an unsuccessful and suicidal writer from the 1990s tries to save Tucker, a pulp writer from the 1940s, from winding up a bloody mess on the sidewalk outside her (Tucker's) apartment. (Drew and Tucker are both dark-haired women who resemble each other.)
Time traveller Isaac, Tucker's magazine editor from the 1940s, tries to get Drew to help him save Tucker now, in the 1990s. Isaac feels guilty because he sent Tucker to observe an H-bomb test at such close range it gave her cancer and turned her into a "time freak," someone who jumps through time at moments of passion or emotional stress.
Time freaks are drawn to each other because of something in their "codes," which can be extracted in part and put into other living organisms - - "reincarnation in a blender." But Drew and Tucker are drawn to each other on a more physical level. Drew says she hides behind non-prescription glasses because without them "I look too f***able." Tucker smiles at her and agrees.
Turning Tucker into a time freak apparently causes her death in the 1940s. Or at least that's when Tucker's body was found. Drew finds a fifty-year-old newspaper clipping about a "Mystery Writer Found Dead" in a paperback novel entitled The Sticky Fingers of Time, written by Tucker. Tucker was shot in the back of the head and found in the street in front of her apartment building.
At first, by the rules of the game, it would appear Isaac and Drew don't have a chance to save Tucker. Tucker's (future?) killer tells Drew: "You live the life, you pay the price." Drew's choices are "to die, to kill, to do nothing." But Drew finds another solution.
This movie is about more than just a novel time-travel gimmick. Drew is trapped by her fear. At the climax of the story we're watching (but at the very beginning of Drew's story, when she first jumped through time as a young girl, and experienced her first connection to Tucker) we learn what's necessary to overcome that fear in order to save ourselves and others.
Drew and Tucker aren't trapped by fate after all. Tucker doesn't know what her life will be because she hasn't started writing the book The Sticky Fingers of Time yet. And by throwing the pages of the novel away Drew freed herself to make any choice she wants, to act freely.
The movie The Sticky Fingers of Time is also an homage to postwar pulp fiction and a comment on modern recreations of that look. The opening scenes of the movie are like the covers of the old Gold Medal paperbacks that promised revelations about lesbian sex. Ofelia, the woman Tucker is living with in the forties, is the femme fatale in a revealing robe. Tucker, walking along the (black and white) streets, wears pants and a World War II uniform-type jacket. When Tucker finds herself catapulted fifty years into the (Technicolor) future, with these clothes she fits right in among the bohemians who haunt the used book stores and coffee houses.
Or, as Isaac says, commenting on the past and the present, "It's been a long day."