Posts Tagged ‘groundhog day’

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

In September 2009, as part of the AND Festival in Liverpool, Guthrie Lonergan presented an alternative version of the film Groundhog Day (1993).

Groundhog Day is a film about a man who re-lives the same day over and over and over again. Lonergan’s version is a series of eighteen short videos, each composed of still-frame slideshows that represent scenes from the film’s narrative.

These still frames are underscored by Lonergan’s own first-person summarization of the narrative from the point of view of the protagonist, played by Bill Murray.

The number of videos corresponds (approximately – it’s difficult to judge) to the number of days that Bill Murray re-lived the same day over and over and over again.

Lonergan also released these videos not all at once, but one by one, so that it became performative. By breaking the story up into the number of days that Murray re-lived the day and presenting the videos over the course of a couple of days, the viewer gets more of a sense of this endless repetition.

The story’s eternal return theme, then, takes on a new air of uncanniness. The idea of endlessly cycling through the same day shocks you a bit more and allows you to see what this time would mean in a deeper way.

In one of Lonergan’s poetic/philosophical asides, he captures this.

We view a still image of Bill Murray in bed at the end of his first full day of return.

As the image very slowly fades to black, Lonergan (as the protagonist) muses:

I’m pretty lost at this point.

And I’m thinking about why this, why this is happening.

And… about how I’m a, a weatherman.

And this connection between you know weather and time and predicting things using patterns.

And can weather have patterns… and maybe time, as well.