End of Time

(Canada, 2012, 109 mins, DCP)

The body is transient, but is time itself something that has a form and mass, a reality beyond human consciousness? Can it be photographed? Can we transcend it? Non-fiction filmmaker Peter Mettler (Gambling, Gods & LSD) explores these fundamental philosophical kernels inside and out in his latest visual essay, a film that was itself five years in the making.

A visual essayist rather than a conventional documentary-maker, Mettler takes us inside the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland, drops in on the last homesteader on a South Pacific island that’s slowly being carpeted by hot lava (“It’s like watching a slow movie,” he says), and swings by Detroit, a dying city that used to be the engine room of the American century. He also visits the very spot where Buddha found enlightenment. Free-flowing and meditative, The End of Time is not as apocalyptic as it first sounds; everywhere Mettler looks he finds images of startling beauty, objects of intellectual curiosity, and signs of regeneration. This is time well spent, and a lovely companion piece to Nostalgia for the Light.

"Recalling the work of Terrence Malick, Werner Herzog and the late Chris Marker… The End of Time becomes immersive and hypnotic… a ravishingly beautiful experience."
Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter.

"Peter Mettler’s poetic lens has inquired into everything from personal fulfillment (Gambling, Gods and LSD) to the Northern Lights (Picture of Light). Now he’s after his most elusive prey yet: the very human concept of time… [The End of Time] is of a piece with Patricio Guzmán’s Nostalgia for the Light, a film that similarly finds miraculous unity in seemingly random things." 
Peter Howell, Toronto Star.