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LACMA To Bring Back Epic 24-Hour Film 'The Clock'

Detail from Christian Marclay's 'The Clock,' 2010. (Image: Christian Marclay, courtesy of White Cube, London, and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York.)
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The ultimate exercise in binge-watching is back! LACMA will be reviving the 24-hour film The Clock this summer. Screened to massive crowds at the museum first in 2011 and then again in 2012, The Clock is a 24-hour montage of thousands of clips from cinema and television history edited together by Christian Marclay that depicts the passage of time and is also synchronized to real time. For example, if you're watching the film from 10 a.m. through 11 a.m., you'll see clips from movies and TV shows showing that exact same time. Whoaaaaaaaa.

Here's the segment from 12:04 p.m. to 12:07 p.m.

In effect, The Clock is literally just that: a clock projected on a movie screen. Critic J. Hoberman calls it "not just a conceptual masterpiece but a cinematic one as well." CalArts' Thom Andersen, a master of montage himself with his own Los Angeles Plays Itself, is a bit more skeptical. "I found The Clock mildly entertaining, like most of the movies it quotes, Andersen notes in Cinema Scope. "But I remember very little of it. The images cancel each other out."

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Be sure to show up early to watch The Clock strike midnight. Unsurprisingly, there's a lot more to draw from the bibliography of cinema history for that specific moment. "As midnight nears, Sid Vicious breaks into a spirited rendition of 'Something Else,' a myriad of clocks reach midnight, and then Orson Welles is impaled on a giant cuckoo clock," writes Andersen, who also notes that noon is "actually better."

The film will be running this summer at LACMA from July 5 through September 7, where it'll be on view during museum hours for that timespan. A spokesperson with the museum tells LAist that dates for the 24-hour screenings are still being finalized.