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Time and memory

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About time and memory

It is through memory that we experience the passing of time, and filmic representation allows us to project the past (and even visions of possible futures) into the present. In our image-saturated world, the images we see in films, artworks, music videos, television shows, and advertisements construct what comes to be our collective memory of shared cultural moments. Through these images, our memories of the past (whether of real events or fictional narratives) often come to resemble the images of the event rather than the event itself.

Filmic time is rarely linear. Editing and special effects allow filmmakers and artists to manipulate the moving image, extending or contracting time by creating montages or ellipses that truncate and radically transform our experience of time on screen. Many artists and filmmakers also use the moving image as a means of investigating the nature of time itself. By manipulating the image within the frame, or slicing into filmic time, they displace us in history to create new visions of our lived reality, or to suggest alternative histories or parallel worlds.

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