SXSW 2024: ‘Timestalker’ Hops Through Generations of Codependency

Credit: SXSW Press

Alice Lowe is no stranger to the irreverent. Throughout her career she has shown herself masterful at dark humor as a tool to examine very real human relationships and emotions. In her latest film, ‘Timestalker’, she proves once again how special and important her voice is in the cinematic world. 

During her opening comments before the premiere of the film, Lowe mentioned that the film took years to complete. Due to births, deaths, and the pandemic, she wasn’t sure the film would be completed at all. This seems especially apt when you consider the narrative of the film itself.

Timestalker jumps through time, decades and centuries flash by as a woman searches for her one true-love. The catch, though, is this quest tends to end with her head noticeably detached from her body. There is a time in the film when the character is unsure how to complete her romantic journey, or how to reroute it. It is not only a striking parallel to the filmmaking process she described, it is also a more relatable parallel to love (and co-dependency) that most audience members will relate to. 

We have all wanted and longed after someone so wholly and completely it sometimes surpasses the balance of our own self worth and emotional health. 

That’s what this film is.

It is an ode to codependency, and the process of overcoming it. It is the story of the long road to self reliance and self-love. 

Credit: SXSW Press

While the film structure itself feels a little rushed and underdeveloped, the thematic and character arc flow with careful efficiency. It may feel more dreamlike and scattered than a traditional narrative, the emotional heft it delivers can’t really be criticized. 

As much as one could argue this feels more like an outline of a finished film, than a complete project, the effect of the humor and emotion found within can’t really be shrugged away. 

The film compiles so many darkly hilarious moments mixed with powerful emotional elements that the sum of the film feels greater than the seemingly fractured whole. 

So, while the film may meander and feel a bit unfinished in a certain sense, it is definitely an effective story of love, codependency, and the journey to find that elusive personal balance of both. Lowe has once again proved how adept she is at creating very human and relatable stories. In the end, the film does an incredible job of showing that history, and human nature, tends to repeat itself. But, in that repetition, there is always hope. And that is a powerful message. 

SXSW 2024: ‘Timestalker’ Hops Through Generations of Codependency