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Sam Klemke's Time Machine

Matthew Bate
Australia 2015 / 89’

Sam Klemke began his adventure with film in 1977 as a high-school graduate. Decades before the term "selfie" would be coined, Klemke made himself the main-and only-character in his films. He recorded a chronicle of his own life on VHS videocassettes: as an optimistic teen, a twenty-something trying to find himself, an embittered thirty-something, and as an old man who had come to terms with himself. Matthew Bate (Shut Up Little Man! 11th New Horizons) interweaves Klemke's narcissistic recordings with the documentation for a planned intergalactic mission. The same year that Klemke began his selfie project, NASA launched the Voyager spacecraft carrying the Golden Records, a portrait of humanity meant to explain to aliens exactly who we are. This time capsule bears a message from then-President Jimmy Carter that reads, "This is a present from a small distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts, and our feelings. We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours." Klemke could write the very same thing on his own time machine.

Ewa Szabłowska

Matthew Bate

Matthew Bate is an Australian director who focuses his attention on the margins of pop culture and outsider artists. Bate's short films are characterized by a peculiar sense of humor, an original way of telling stories, and experimental visual techniques. He has already made a documentary about the genesis of electronic music that was experimental in terms of both its look and its sound, a silent film about a legendary stuntman from the early days of Hollywood, and an audio found-footage thriller called Shut Up Little Man! about scandalous audio recordings from an apartment building in San Francisco.

Filmography

2007 What the Future Sounded Like (doc., short)

2009 Connected by Light (TV, doc., short)

2010 The Mystery of Flying Kicks (doc., short)

2011 Stunt Love (doc., short)

2011 Zamknij się, człowieczku! Niefortunna audioprzygoda / Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure (doc.)

2015 Wehikuł czasu Sama Klemke / Sam Klemke’s Time Machine (doc.)

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Cast & Crew

director Matthew Bate
screenplay Matthew Bate, Sandy Cameron
cinematography Sam Klemke, Matthew Bate and NASA archival footage
editing Bryan Mason
music Jonny Elk Walsh, Raynor Pettge
cast Sam Klemke
producer Rebecca Summerton, Sophie Hyde
production Visit Films
language English
colouration colour & b&w