Aug 8, 2023 | Social, Videos

Chronos is an acclaimed 1985 documentary film directed by the renowned Ron Fricke and created with custom-built time-lapse cameras. It is an abstract work without dialogue or actors, only featuring a beautiful soundtrack composed by Michael Stearns. Spanning five continents, Chronos visually covers the entirety of human history from prehistory to modern times. Symbolisms are scattered throughout the movie, creating a narrative that ties together different epochs and time scales – such as the passing of seasons, day and night and people’s comings and goings.

The visual language used in Chronos bears a resemblance to Fricke’s other works, such as Koyaanisqatsi (for which he was cinematographer) as well as Sacred Site and Baraka. To capture all the footage required for his ambitious project, Ron Fricke had to resort to inventing new camera rigging techniques; one of them was a 24-hour shot of a desert while perfectly panning 180 degrees.

For his part, composer Michael Stearns put together the entire soundtrack using an unconventional instrument he created himself: The Beam – measuring 12 feet (3.7 m) long and built out of extruded aluminum with 24 piano strings, it provided the perfect atmosphere for this documentary’s visuals. The film’s title itself harks back to Ancient Greek – χρόνος (khronos), meaning ‘time’ – which also gives birth to words like chronology or synchronous.

Chronos is an absolutely captivating journey through humanity’s past – an experience like no other which will leave you in wonder at its beauty and power. If you are looking for something unique that will make you think, then look no further than Ron Fricke’s mesmerizing masterpiece Chronos!

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David B