Watch the trailer for the new Kurt Vonnegut documentary "Unstuck In Time"

The upcoming documentary Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck In Time looks pretty interesting if you (like me) are a fan of the late author. Filmmaker Robert Weide first approached Vonnegut in 1988 to propose the idea of a documentary, and they filmed on and off until Vonnegut's death in 2007. As a result, the movie not only documents Vonnegut's life and career, but also the evolution of the relationship between the two men. The film languished for a while, until a successful Kickstarter campaign brought it back to life in 2015. Now, it's finally secured distribution, and will be available in theatres and VOD on November 19, 2021.

I think I'm particularly excited about this because Pandemic Life has had me thinking a lot about Timequake, the last full novel that Vonnegut (and, for some reason, the first one my father ever bought me). Timequake is partially a memoir, but the fictional part of the story revolves around an idea of the universe temporarily shrinking, and forcing everyone to re-live the last 5 years of their life on autopilot. They can't change what happened — they just have to go through the motions, reliving all the ups and downs and wins and losses they had already gone through once before. This ends up being a neat motif for Vonnegut to use in re-telling his own memories, as having lived through them once before already. But the plot (inasmuch as there is one) is mostly reliant on what happens after the Timequake — the moment when those 5-years-on-autopilot are finally done, and everyone simultaneously discovers that they have free will again. After being trapped in a daze for so long, they don't even know how to take advantage of their rediscovered freedom. They had found comfort in the ennui of their redundant, slow-motion lives, which made the return to normal that much more difficult. Sound familiar?