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Updated by Kendra Brea Cooper on Jun 22, 2017
Headline for Of All Possible Worlds: 5 Films that Bend our Perception of Time and Reality
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Of All Possible Worlds: 5 Films that Bend our Perception of Time and Reality

Postmodern philosophy often takes on the idea that a real “reality” doesn’t actually exist, and that our so-called reality is constructed by language and ideologies. Here are 5 movies that tear apart any idea of linear time and unchanging reality:

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

It’s no mistake that the “Lacuna” firm has a name similar to that of psycho-analyst Jaques Lacan. Joel, a heartbroken man, wants to erase the memory of his ex with the help of this firm’s procedure. The film dabbles heavily in objects of desire and the gaping inner hole that is our lack. Memories are the building blocks of our perceived realities and erasing them not only alters reality, but time as well.

Another Earth

Another Earth is our collective fantasy of another reality right before our eyes. It’s about a young girl trying to fix a life changing mistake she made after a drive home from a party. The other earth hangs in the sky like a distorted mirror. It is us looking at ourselves, but from a different perspective.Seeing “what could have been” is, I think, one of the deepest wishes a person can have. In times of climate change and uprisings, the idea of another path with a different outcome has us wondering: "Can we do better?"

Sound of my Voice

Faith and proof are the running themes in this time travel thriller. The story takes these rival binaries and manages to blur the line between them. The couple, Peter and Lorna, attempt to document Maggie and her cult of people who believe she is from the future. Documenting can be an ideological action in itself, with the need to see to believe. Is this never ending search for proof tearing apart our connections built by trust?

Donnie Darko

Donnie Darko plays with the weighty philosophies of time travel, consciousness, and morality. Here is a film that dives into the alternate universe, where delusion and reality mesh together. It has us question where “reality” really stands, if it stands at all. Donnie’s teenage mind is consumed by hallucinations of a bunny named Frank, who is guiding him through his visions of the world ending. It's not far from how we often feel at one point in our adolescent lives.




Kaboom is a film that expresses the feeling of breaking through romantic and sexual ideologies within a science fiction storyline. It works because college can be like a whole new reality. Exploring sexuality beyond the borders society places on you can be like a science fiction adventure. By that I mean something you might have never before imagined.