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SAM KLEMKE’S TIME MACHINE Review: A Brutally Honest Time Capsule

10c2bdfb2e9a7b365d941bef9ab55108_originalIn Sam Klemke’s Time Machine, we see a documentary about a man (Sam Klemke) who has documented his life since 1977, as a way of showing year to year self progression. While Klemke documented his life, he also documented major events of the human race over the years. Sam Klemke first released his Time Machine on Youtube which then went viral. Thus, sparking this documentary from Matthew Bate. This will probably be one of the easiest reviews that I write, simply because Sam Klemke is brutally honest with himself in the documentary.

At the beginning of the documentary, we see a very young Sam Klemke starting out an experimental “annual personal status report.” Year to year, Klemke shares his personal highlights along with major events of the world that happened in that given year. What Matthew Bate has added is clips of those major world events along with clips of space and footage of Klemke being brutally honest with his self-assessments as he watches the old footage of himself throughout the film.

Where the space part comes in is because of the fact that also in 1977, NASA sent into space the Golden Record: an audio-visual self-portrait of humanity that would allow extra terrestrials to understand who we are. What Matthew Bate ultimately does at the end of the film is pretty flattering and genius. Just like with the “Golden Record”, Bate has the footage of ¬†Klemke’s Time Machine film transmitted into outer space.


I felt that Klemke’s initial idea of a yearly annual self report was really interesting. The fact that he actually continued the project passed his middle-aged years shows how committed he was to his project. Seeing Sam Klemke watching footage of his self-assesments were hilariously brutally honest and one can appreciate the honesty.¬†There are some parts that I could have done without like the private parts (nude scenes) but that can also show how vulnerable and open Klemke was with sharing his life.The idea to have a documentary about a documentary sounds strange but it turned out to be very unique. Matthew Bate gave the film an artsy kind of touch to the film and it helped the film progress at a nice pace.

I give Sam Klemke’s Time Machine 7 fridges out of 10.

Sam Klemke’s Time Machine will be available November 30th exclusively on Vimeo.com.