In Ross McElwee’s documentary TIME INDEFINITE, viewers are subjected to an endless parade of mostly boring, and sometimes unpleasant, activities making up the daily life of McElwee, his film partner and soon-to-be wife Marilyn, their families, and a few friends. TIME INDEFINITE seems like just that–a never-ending waste of time, that is. The filmmaker takes this opportunity to share his overwhelming compulsion to film everything that goes on around him. Why, you may ask, would anyone want to see these events, much less film them? McElwee is fairly presumptuous in believing that anyone would. And, the art community wonders why many people are often upset over how the National Endowment for the Arts spends their tax dollars.
TIME INDEFINITE appears at first to be simply a decent-quality home movie, complete with such endearing nuances as lens flare, bad focus and camera shake, not to mention the monotone voice-over by McElwee. However, upon further (laborious) viewing, McElwee’s underlying purpose emerges. This film is nothing more than an exercise in relieving, or just releasing, his own anxieties and personal fears. Throughout the film, friends and family alike continuously ask McElwee to put down his camera and stop filming them. Sounds as though he should take their advice, and then get to know the Truth that will set him free from his egomania.
(Ab, H, L, S) Anti-Christian & anti-religious comments and resulting humnaist worldview; one profanity & one obscenity; and, implied promiscuity although the couple later married.