Christian Marclay’s The Clock

I left Christian Marclay’s “The Clock” about twelve minutes after “High Noon.” I’d been there since about 10:30 A.M., thinking that I’d stay for about twenty minutes and get the feel of the thing; any longer, and the minutes might drag. But I was wrong. Time flew—it hypnotized. When I sat down, Bogart was trying to rouse a lady out of bed. (Pills.) A heist seemed to be underway in a train station. (I never found out how it went down, because I had to head to the subway for a doctor’s appointment before the action took place—in “The Clock,” you have to wait along with the criminals; there are no shortcuts here.) People kept waking up, appearing progressively guiltier as the hour grew later. Big Ben—perhaps the hero of this work?—appeared over and over, heroically standing tall against a deep blue sky in one clip. Later, a man hung off its minute hand, trying to stop time. Oh, if only!

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