Can anyone really explain chronophasia?

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I think Emma had it right years ago.

Aeon falls. Dies. Goes into limbo.

The boy is already there...he's not death...he's dead, but doesn't want to move on without his/a (doesn't really matter which, but his mother is a stronger argument for him to wait) mother.

This is why he wants her, but not like she thinks herself (in a sexual way). Aeon is often confused by the events that unravel in front of her.

The reason why the time keeps looping is because she hasn't realized that in limbo, one continues to live until they realize they are dead and life never ends. The secret.

The vial is the last symbol of her former life. But, in order to smash it, she has to redeem herself. So, Aeon repetitively tries to complete her mission not knowing she's dead. Finally, in the last iteration, she realizes she's not going to win, and the baby comes to see her. She's ready to redeem herself and does. Now, she's totally ready for the truth. The boy shows her the truth by opening her portal (the red dot) up to complete understanding that she's never been dead. Just as he's never been dead (his inheritance is the recognition of eternal life).

As his time isn't her time, he suggesting that he's been dead for a long time, even though in the living world, it's only been three(I forget exactly) weeks. This is important because one would ask how would a little boy give an inheritance to an older person. Hence, the answer.

Anyway, after learning that she's been around for eternity, and that the vial, the picture, Trevor were all "things" of her former life. She can't take it and smashes the vial (the last thing left) and leaves limbo to move onto another existence with the boy.

BTW, the snowy scene is them waiting to be reborn.

Paul O'Brien, Sunday, 15 January 2006 16:53 (seventeen years ago) link

would like to offer a variation on the above theme.

Aeon falls. She is unconscious and about to die but is desparately trying to hang on to life.

The boy is that part of Aeon that is trying to prepare her for her eventual death. ("Everything that rises converges" = "Everything that dies goes to heaven". "My time is not your time" = the boy resides inside Aeon's subconscious).

Aeon is still trying to complete her mission as she thinks she is still alive. When she shows the boy the picture of the baby he laughs because it is no longer important ("This on remembers her function which everyone else has forgotten" The boy is talking about Aeon, not the picture.) The monster baby is that part of Aeon that blames the baby for her eventual death.

Whichever tunnel Aeon takes leads her back to the same place--the place with the spilt virus (I like the gray liquid over the original version with blood). Aeon cannot escape death. She reaches a fever pitch of insanity near her end.

The frozen Aeon and the boy is what the boy bequeaths to her--another complete life to live in the last nanosecond of her life.

Ray Lee, Saturday, 21 January 2006 04:40 (seventeen years ago) link

three months pass...
One last thing,

She's dead at the beginning. The first part is a review.

Paul O'Brien, Sunday, 30 April 2006 23:06 (sixteen years ago) link

three years pass...

So, in answer to the original poster, after all these years, with posts from people actually involved in the writing and creation of the short....No.

No, they can not tell you the meaning of it. No, they have not written an explanation of it. They don't know why the baby was so powerful. They don't know if the boy was there from the beginning. They don't know what was in the vial at the end or why it aided in changing their reality. They have no idea why or how the mummified people died.

They have no idea what was created or why it was created(save to make a buck). It's like watching a David Lynch film minus the few parts that make sense enough to string together a movie.

Absolutely nothing is to be gained on examination of this short other than that pieces have been placed in opposition and are blatantly left without any conclusion. It is not a reflection of life, metaphysics or science. It is a nothing. You can sleep easy now.

They divided by zero and the zero won.

iseewutudidthere, Saturday, 24 April 2010 01:09 (twelve years ago) link

one month passes...

Anyone else a little queasy at the fact that Æon and the boy form a mother/son bond with a dose of incestual consummation?

Jake Bromberg, Wednesday, 23 June 2010 14:33 (twelve years ago) link

six years pass...

I just watched the episode called Chronophasia for the first time. What a trip. I liked it so much I felt like I needed to figure out what it’s about. First I looked for an explanation online, but couldn’t find an adequate one. So I sat down and started writing this. And I kept writing for a while. This might seem like the ramble of a madman but here’s what I got out of it.

Some people have argued that the time-jumping in this episode represented an actual event and that Aeon was taking leaps in time. However, this doesn’t seem to be likely considering there is no mention of time warping technology or anything of that sort from Trevor, who clearly knew what he was looking for from the start. The only thing mentioned, later, was a virus. While a virus that warps time wouldn’t be the strangest plot device in this series, there’s a far more likely and less fantastic function that the virus could be carrying out instead. Consider what we know about the virus, mainly from Trevor, which is that it can bring about a state of permanent insanity. He goes on to say that it was once able to bring about a feeling of “connection, being in and of the world.” While Trevor seems to believe that this was desirable, or even somehow beneficial, there’s no evidence of this. In fact, Trevor himself provides the evidence for it being detrimental by stating that humans gained resistance to the virus. The important detail in this is that resistance is not something that simply happens in an entire population at once. It’s a process of selection and evolution, which means that there was an advantage to being resistant.

Then is there a way that it could have been both damaging and yet still be as Trevor described it? Yes, the most likely explanation is that this virus brought about semi- or entirely hallucinatory states that, while being pleasurable, left the individual less able to survive. This also matches the intentions of the scientists who wanted to use it to bring about madness in those infected. Madness was not so different from the altered consciousness already achieved through the virus. It could already effect a person’s perceptions, they just tuned it to be less pleasurable. Aeon being infected by this virus would then explain most of what she sees as delusions or dreams experienced only by her. For example, the scene where Trevor states that the scientist never had such a virus and that he was either an idiot or a charlatan. This can be explained by viewing it as just another part of Aeon’s visions, after all there are other scenes where Trevor and his team are all dead or where Trevor is driven mad. Alternatively, Trevor may have been led to a false conclusion after reading the notes of a scientist who had recently been infected by an escaped virus, driving him mad and making his notes seem ridiculous.

Another potential flaw is that all this information about the virus would have been revealed within a vision, so how could Aeon learn about it? The answer is that she already knew about it. The visions are clearly drawing on her experiences and knowledge of reality, up until the last two scenes at least, so perhaps everything that Trevor explained was already known to her. After all, she didn’t seem very surprised to learn she was infected and going mad. The confusing sequence of events can also be explained this way, but there are still certain mystical-seeming parts to this story. Possibly the most important is the boy.
The boy, I believe, is a mental representation of the virus, which seems to be able to communicate with its host through creating this representation. He continually states that he was there before anyone, even the researchers. This could be interpreted as meaning the virus existed in this place for a long time and that’s why the scientists went there to study it. The monstrous baby could also be a representation of the altered part of the virus, mutated and dangerous. It takes the form of a baby because Aeon was expecting to find a baby there and feared what might have become of it.

Some things are still a mystery. The apparent age of the corpses in the facility remain unexplained, though it could, again, be part of the visions and in reality the people may have died from the virus, from fighting caused by the madness, or even from suicide to escape from the visions. The smashing of the vials by the scientists could be interpreted as their last sane act, in order to prevent more death, or as a desperate search for the one vial, the vial that Aeon eventually finds, that could cure their infection. This leads to the final puzzle piece, how did Aeon find that vial? That vial had to be real for the ending I have in mind to make sense. It seems, through the scenes and Aeon’s visions, that the vial is emphasized both by Trevor and by the child. She is led to search for it through the vision, created by the virus. While she had the visions, she could have been stumbling around the actual caves searching for it until she retrieves it (possibly in the chamber where she takes it from the boy).

Later, the virus, through the boy, tries to communicate to Aeon that she should break the vial she finds. When she finally does, she enters a happy vision, as opposed to the frightening visions of death she had before. I believe this is because the virus in the last remaining vial is actually the original virus and that this can somehow prevent or override the madness. A few clues from the boy’s dialogue can also support this theory. He speaks of willing her something and bequeathing his inheritance. This might mean that while he, the virus, will die after she smashes the vial, his inheritance (the ability to give visions) will remain with her through the second virus. He even has one line which could be interpreted to mean he is the virus, “I was here first. Before they came here with their experiments. A virus that produces human happiness.” He wants her to submit to him, but he rejects her when she offers herself. This is because he didn’t want her for himself. The virus, for some reason, desired the release of the original virus, and accomplished this by the end of the episode.

Well, I feel crazy for writing all this out, but it was largely just so that I could get my head around this insane episode. I think it makes sense, but of course I also recognize that the meaning of the episode is still very much open to interpretation. Hopefully this can help other people make sense of it too.

NeonRevolver, Monday, 24 April 2017 14:27 (five years ago) link

five years pass...

Sorry for being late to the party, but I attempted to write an analysis of "Chronophasia" here. I'm indebted to the many smart/deranged/etc posts in this thread, who either gave me ideas or inspired me to think in unnatural directions.

I wonder what happened to some of these people after 20+ years? Did they die? Did they become stranger?

Coagulopath, Tuesday, 20 December 2022 09:02 (three months ago) link

Thanks for reminding me of this episode and for your words on it. What a great one!

Nhex, Tuesday, 20 December 2022 15:37 (three months ago) link

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