Zeroville Excerpt: Each Scene Is In All Times…

Jeff VanderMeer • August 30th, 2007 @ 6:29 pm • Book Reviews

…and all your base belong to me…

I love this “chapter” from Zeroville, the new Steve Erickson novel, out in November. Overall, the book is more accessible (in a good way, although I love his other stuff) than most of his work, but there’s a price for this: when it goes batshit crazy at the end, I just didn’t buy it.

Jeff

Each scene is in all times, Vikar tells himself, and all times are in each scene. Each shot, each set-up, each sequence is in all times, all times are in each shot, each set-up, each sequence. The scenes of a movie can be shot out of sequence not because it’s more convenient, but because all the scenes of a movie are really happening at the same time. No scene really leads to the next, all scenes lead to each other. No scene is really shot “out of order.” It’s a false concern that a scene must anticipate another that follows, even if it’s not been shot yet, or that a scene must reflect a scene that precedes it, even if it’s not been shot yet, because all scenes anticipate and reflect each other. Scenes reflect what has not yet happened, scenes anticipate what already has happened. Scenes that have not yet happened, have. “Continuity” is one of the myths of film; in film, time is round, like a reel. Fuck, as Dotty would say, continuity.

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