Intricate Spanish Sci-Fi Time-Travel Thriller

Timecrimes is a tremendously entertaining bit of Kafka that whirlpools down into The Twilight Zone. Spanish director Vigalondo's first feature film is an enigmatic, interlocked series of increasingly inevitable torments for its protagonist and one helluva blast to watch. Predicated on the same sort of trippy, circular logic beloved by conspiracy theorists and collegiate stoners alike, it's a time-travel head-trip of a film, and it succeeds in messing with your mind almost as much as it does with those of its own characters. Fair warning, hippie: Do not drop acid before seeing this film. Similar in tone to Shane Carruth's too-smart-for-its-own-good Primer (in which a pair of Dallas engineers inadvertently whip up a time machine in their suburban garage) but far more engaging, Timecrimes has nabbed a spate of awards, among them the Next Wave award at 2007's Fantastic Fest. It's easy to see why: Vigalondo's triple command of surreal compositions, nerve-raping suspense, and the ability to draw out scarily emotional performances from a cast that includes, in a major role, himself is unassailable. (Director of photography Flavio Martínez Labiano, working on a shoestring budget and filling odd corners of the frame with all manner of important information, is no slouch either.) As so often happens in films about the male self, it all begins with a girl, before beginning again and again and again. Paunchy Héctor (Elejalde, in a breakthrough role) is moving into his new rural, woods-enveloped home with his wife, Clara (Fernández). Stretched out on his lawn with a drink in one hand, Héctor spies a bit of color in the otherwise dense foliage that borders his property. It turns out to be a nude woman (Goenaga), posing as if she were some sylvan wood nymph, and Héctor is immediately and understandably curious. His investigation, however, leads him nowhere – and everywhere – fast. It's impossible, or maybe just unwise, to reveal any more of Timecrimes' plotting here. Suffice it to say that while you may think you know what's going on in Vigalondo's world, you don't, not really. It's a trip, after all, and getting there is all the fun. — Marc Savlov, The Austin Chronicle


Fri & Sat March 6 & 7, 2009, 7:00 & 9:00, Muenzinger Auditorium

Spain, 2007, Spanish, Color, 88 min, R, 35mm (1.85:1)



10 films for $60 with punch card
$9 general admission. $7 w/UCB student ID, $7 for senior citizens
$1 discount to anyone with a bike helmet
Free on your birthday! CU Cinema Studies students get in free.


Pay lot 360 (now only $1/hour!), across from the buffalo statue and next to the Duane Physics tower, is closest to Muenzinger. Free parking can be found after 5pm at the meters along Colorado Ave east of Folsom stadium and along University Ave west of Macky.


Park elsewhere and catch the HOP to campus

International Film Series

(Originally called The University Film Commission)
Established 1941 by James Sandoe.

First Person Cinema

(Originally called The Experimental Cinema Group)
Established 1955 by Carla Selby, Gladney Oakley, Bruce Conner and Stan Brakhage.

C.U. Film Program

(AKA The Rocky Mountain Film Center)
First offered degrees in filmmaking and critical studies in 1989 under the guidance of Virgil Grillo.

Celebrating Stan

Created by Suranjan Ganguly in 2003.

C.U. Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Established 2017 by Chair Ernesto Acevedo-Muñoz.

Thank you, sponsors!
Boulder International Film Festival
Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Looking for a gift for a friend?
Buy a Frequent Patron Punch Card for $60 at any IFS show. With the punch card you can see ten films (a value of $90).

Virtual titles to stream from home

Cox & Kjølseth
: Filmmaker Alex Cox & Pablo Kjølseth discuss film topics from their own unique perspectives.

: Pablo and Ana share Zoom-based briefs on what's currently playing at IFS

Sprocket Damage
: Sprocket Damage digs deep(ish) into current and classic films and film-related subjects to bring to you insightful, humorous, and enlightening perspectives on the industry.

Search IFS schedules

Index of visiting artists

Thu Jan 26, 2023

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

At Muenzinger Auditorium

Thu Feb 2, 2023

Groundhog Day

At Muenzinger Auditorium

more on 35mm...