The Nine O'Clock Gun

The Nine OClock Gun

Release date:

1980

Running time:

8 minutes

Formats:

Available on DVD

Closed Captioned:

No

Availability in North America:

Available in CanadaAvailable in the US

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  • Audience level:
  • Elementary School
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  • General

A famous Vancouver landmark, the nine o'clock gun is a cannon that fires each day at 9:00 p.m. from Stanley Park. In this film, a stationary camera plays a waiting game, shooting the "performing sculpture" that marks time, but also stands as an invention of destruction.

Real time is an oxymoron. The film presents a single shot, pun intended, of Vancouver's famous gun on a night in June of 1980; an event that is unique yet happens every night. The firing point, "a point in time", occurs exactly in the middle of the film and suggest that our temporal experience is limited to the future (before the gun fires), the present, the moment that is impossible to experience (the bang) and the past (after the gun has fired). Our experience of time in our innermost self is intimate unlike our experience of space or mass yet nothing in physics corresponds to the passage of time. How can something we experience as being so real likely not even exist?

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