Vimeo user Michael Suich (TheMikeSwitch) has a dream, and it involves Robert Zemeckis’ much-obsessed-over Back To The Future trilogy. “I wanted,” he writes “to do a chronological edit of Back To The Future—meaning the order that Hill Valley experienced events.” Now, chronological fan edits are not strictly a new phenomenon. People have been tinkering with the timeline of Pulp Fiction for years, and there must be a few chronologically-ordered Memento cuts out there, too. But Back To The Future offers unique challenges to the fan editor, as its main two characters, Rick And Morty progenitors Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd), take active steps to alter the space-time continuum, meaning that there are multiple, parallel versions of “reality” in the series. At one point in the middle of the trilogy, there are even multiple Docs and Martys running around the same version of 1955 Hill Valley. And what of Grays Sports Almanac 1950-2000, a time-altering document so powerful it can bend history as easily as one can bend a paper clip?
Nevertheless, Michael Suich has bravely sallied forth with his Back To The Future chronology project and has offered viewers a preview of it on his Vimeo channel. And while you’d think that the finished version of the project would have to begin in 1885, when Hill Valley was still being assembled, as depicted in Part III, Suich’s preview takes place in 1955 and draws its footage from the first and second films in the series. While poor Michael J. Fox tries to retrieve that pesky Grays Sports Almanac from the principal’s office, only to be “rewarded” with a well-used copy of Oh Là Là instead, Crispin Glover bravely manages to rescue Lea Thompson from all-but-certain parking lot sexual assault at the hands of Thomas F. Wilson. Meanwhile, Billy Zane is busy being Billy Zane in the background. If Michael Suich continues this Back To The Future project, he might do well to heed the suggestion of a Vimeo commentor: “I recommend going with a split-screen for simultaneous events.” That could make for a fascinating, if dizzying, video experiment.