Sam Klemke’s Time Machine (2015) Film Review


‘Sam Klemke’s Time Machine’ is a documentary detailing the life of the aforementioned Sam Klemke, a self­confessed film fanatic who some have dubbed ‘the original vlogger’. In 1977, well into his teens, Sam began a project aiming to capture his life, annually, through a camera lens with the intent of documenting his ‘progress and whereabouts in life’ and to keep a record of what he did, what he didn’t do and what he wanted to do. In the film, we are presented with the escapades of Sam which are given to us in stark contrast to the journey of the spacecraft Voyager being launched into space and its documented excursion to the outer reaches of our solar system. The emphasis of the movie being time and its effects on our lives. Having briefly read the synopsis before watching the film, I definitely went into this viewing with high spirits, expectations and much like the spacecraft Voyager, I was venturing into the unknown.


My first impressions after watching ‘Sam Klemke’s Time Machine’ were quite positive. I thoroughly enjoyed this film and even if I hadn’t I don’t think I could of brought myself to write a bad review about it. The director and writer, Matthew Bate as well as Closer Productions, the group behind this film, has certainly piqued my interest after my viewing of this project. I will say this: despite the fact that this film is not among my ‘go to’ genres, I liked it. I do happen to be a fan of cult movies finding success, which helps. I’ll admit, it was most definitely and undeniably different, and that really can go either way, but it was original, earnest and it really struck a chord with me in a way I can’t quite describe. I’ll do my best!


One thing that I happened to both enjoy, and over the course of the movie grew to dislike about the film, was the scope. The contrast of one man’s history preserved through film against that of the Earth’s history preserved within Voyager, the time capsule launched into space, made me take into consideration and contemplate the emphasis that was being placed on time. I thought about how far we have come since Sam began his project and what we, in the present, will be leaving behind for future generations but as the film continued I gradually shifted towards wanting to watch more and more of Sam himself and feign ignorance to the fact that Voyager was hurtling through space the entire time.

Call me simplistic but I found the quirky, charismatic protagonist more interesting and absorbing as Instead of a ‘through the keyhole’ perspective into someone’s life, Sam has thrown open that door and provided me with all that is himself as ‘Sam Klemke’, exposing everything to us, the audience, to showcase his trials, triumphs, hardships, fears. Not to mention that it showcased an example of how despite what we want and who we are, these things can change over time. These things really hit home, I empathised, I sympathised, I felt. His aspirations, his worries, they were ours to share for such a brief period of time ­ and there it is again, time. Forty years condensed into an hour and a half. Comprehending that will definitely take some time.

This film made me think. It made me feel. It didn’t necessarily ‘make’ me, I couldn’t help myself, time is a fascinating subject and I couldn’t help but be drawn in. I pondered not only about the journey I was sitting through ­ and make no mistake that’s exactly what it is, a journey through time, someone’s life, but also about my own journey, my own time and what I’ll leave behind.. What time I’ve spent thus far and what time I have yet to spend. I considered that the Voyager is still out there, somewhere, travelling still. Ignorant to the space it is engulfed in.

My parting words to the reader would be if you enjoy a good story, you won’t be disappointed in this film. And if you are, I’m sorry you feel that way. To some it may feel nostalgic while to others it will be an informative look back, I’d like to think there is something here for everyone.

To Sam Klemke, Matthew Bate and all of the people behind this title, thank you. May your legacy live on, Sam.

Sam Klemke’s Time Machine is now available to view online at

RELEASE DATE: November 30th, 2015 / Worldwide on
PRODUCERS: Rebecca Summerton and Sophie Hyde
DIRECTOR: Matthew Bate
WRITTER: Matthew Bate
CO-WRITER: Sandy Cameron
CAST: Sam Klemke


Categories: Films, Reviews

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