Ten Minutes Older (original) The Trumpet


Ten Minutes Older

Un-Offical website dedicated to the classic movie by Frank Herz

The Original Screen Play Ten Minutes Older by Herz Frank -1978

Ten Minutes Older is a creative cinematic endeavor inspired by collections that allow each of several directors ten minutes for a time interpretation. The ways that “time” are captured may vary and the directors themelves vary. Herz Frank once said “The first rule of a documentary filmmaker is: Have the patience to observe life!”

The human experience in time changes. There’s the experience of living, dying, birthing, love, history and all may vary depending on the part of the world and local culture.

Thus the earlier Russian title for the work Starshe na desyat minut featured Latvian language from a  Soviet Union perspective.

Herz Frank created a masterpiece in directing and script, and along with cameraman Juris Podnieks captured a range of emotion without a word being spoken. One shot, no cuts and a classic film, albeit a short snapshot of really observing life. The 1978 release from producer Pauls Pakalns underscored having patience and truly observing. When the focus is down to one thing we see a puppet show through the eyes and expression of a child.

The viewer doesn’t actually see what is happening off camera; instead we’re drawn to watching the facial expressions of a young boy, interested in the show before him. The viewer is thus drawn to the black and white face of the children in an audience before focusing on one terrified looking child who then watches, smiling. The range of emotions is dramatic, as if we’re watching him watching something more. There’s, concern, fear, even terror but relief as in the end the good wins out. Every lip quiver and tear is captured in carefully lit detail. Midway our focus turns to other children, all intently watching what we don’t see as if it is behind us. The shadows, expression and reflections need no dialogue.

Frank continues “If you are observant, if you look not only with your eyes, but also with your heart, the life, for sure, will present you with some particular discovery. Then, the reality recorded by you will gain the artistic value, become in line with art, and will always excite people. The facts and events can become old. They can become history. The feelings we felt regarding those events stay with us. Therefore, art is the only living bridge between people of various generations, between time periods.”

Critics shows “that artistic creativity is a mutual emotional process. Moreover, the viewer is involved not abstractly, theoretically, but in a very active manner.” “Ten Minutes Older” was a one shot documentary. It was not edited but rather rolling the cameras and watching things happen.

The 1978 version is still fresh, still new to those who haven’t seen it before. It’s led to an entire following far beyond that first recording. Among them has been Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet and Ten Minutes Older: The Cello (2002).

These later works came as each director is given 10 minutes to capture time. Wim Wenders reincarnated the idea into a series of 10 minute short snapshots. Not all are in English (or have subtitles) as a search on sites such as youtube shows. The original film and the later ones have seldom been shown together.

In Ten Minutes Older: The Cello there were eight directors, visions and creative capturing of a single topic.

The creators and segments were:

  • Bernardo Bertolucci ("Histoire d'eaux") – an Indian’s story of a mentor’s impatience. 
  • Mike Figgis ("About Time 2") – a continuation from a previous work of Timecode. 
  • Jirí Menzel ("One Moment") – the aging of Rudolf Hrusinsky. 
  • Isvan Szabo (“Ten Minutes After")
  • Claire Denis ("Vers Nancy") – a discussion between student and teacher about time 
  • Volker Schlöndorff ("The Enlightenment") – images on racism. 
  • Michael Radford ("Addicted to the Stars") – Life goes on in an astronaut’s life 
  • Jean-Luc Godard ("Dans le noir du temps") – a fragment of tiles looking at youth, death and love. 

Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet was a second part to the project.

Directed by:

  • Aki Kaurismäki ("Dogs Have No Hell") – A man gets out of jail and travels to Siberia to find a wife. 
  • Víctor Erice ("Lifeline") – a family of Spanish farmers try to help a sick infant. 
  • Werner Herzog ("Ten Thousand Years Older") – A look at the Uru Eus tribe, a South American people believed to be the last indigenous people on earth. 
  • Jim Jarmusch ("Int. Trailer. Night.") – a film actress takes a break in her trailer. 
  • Wim Wenders ("Twelve Miles to Trona") – a dazed, ill young man travels through a barren desert trying to find a doctor. 
  • Spike Lee ("We Wuz Robbed") – A look at how Al Gore’s assistants and supporters reacted after the Florida vote counting scandal. 
  • Chen Kaige ("100 Flowers Hidden Deep") – an delusional elderly man is seeking help moving his furniture from a vacant lot that used to have his home on it. 

The following that the films have created gets the perspective. This isn’t a “normal movie” in some ways but rather a creative effort that gives several short stories to generate people to not just sit and watch but react, think and absorb life.

With the innovation of today this brings forward a range of presentations. For example, in Michael Radford’s “Addicted to the Stars” he returns to Earth much as a pilot after a long flight. Once on the ground he finds he has aged 10 minutes. The world around him has gone on from greeters that aren’t human to the child he knew being an old man. The idea of walking anywhere is considered outdated. What happens when the world goes on without us? There are many films that have approached the time subject but not from this perspective.

Further it’s not just one perspective…each film has multiple perspectives in that there are multiple talents given the challenge to portray time. The result is thought provoking and engaging enough that you want to watch it again.

Check it out for other views of time!