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Saturn’s Diary is just that: a diary of the God’s mundane, earthly existence during the first 4 months of 1966. Saturn bathes, eats, drinks, and reads. We catch glimpses of his busy romantic life as he travels about Los Angeles—the towering ziggurat city hall a recurring landmark. Brightly colored comic book noir characters pop against the iconic B&W L.A. architectural landscape. Photos and drawings merge with sound FX and snippets of music (sometimes backwards) to create a mythical L.A. In the film’s final section, as representation is replaced by the abstraction of silence and pure color flicker, Saturn and the L.A. he inhabits disappear. The film concludes as a color diary.
Time is subject to endless alchemical transformations. It metamorphoses into color in Saturn’s Diary in which calendars, chiming clocks, and objects including coasters and bottle caps convey a god’s sparkling but not uncomplicated life in the opening months of 1966. Eventually, he vanishes, leaving silence and flickering colors. (Kristin M. Jones, Film Comment, January/February, 2016)