Caught by the River

23 Seconds to Eternity

25th August 2023

This week, the BFI have announced that 23 Seconds to Eternity — the collected films of The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, The KLF and The Timelords — is to be released on limited edition BFI Blu-ray/DVD on Monday 6th November.

The White Room (1989)

23 Seconds to Eternity will take viewers on a film journey through the collected music videos and short features produced and directed by Bill Butt in collaboration with Jimmy Cauty and Bill Drummond in their various guises as The JAMs, The KLF and The Timelords. This release is the first ever compilation of KLF Communication’s films and includes previously unreleased material along with an illustrated booklet.

23 Seconds to Eternity includes the film The White Room (1989), an ‘ambient road movie’ following American police car Ford Timelord and Jimmy Cauty (Rockman Rock) and Bill Drummond (King Boy D) on a journey cross-country in search of the ‘White Room’. Remastered and regraded from the only existing film print, The White Room features a new soundtrack specially recorded for this Blu-ray/DVD release. 23 Seconds to Eternity also features a newly restored version of The Rites of Mu (1991), a 29-minute feature narrated by Martin Sheen, documenting a summer solstice event organised by The KLF on the Scottish island of Jura in 1991, plus the previously unreleased short Krash (1992), edited in 2022, a record of the final and violent destruction of Ford Timelord. The soundtrack to Krash is a track from The Black Room, the unreleased album by the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu.

23 Seconds to Eternity brings together the music videos for the hit singles ‘Doctorin’ the Tardis’ (1988) by The Timelords, ‘It’s Grim Up North’ (1991) by The JAMs and the rarely seen Kylie Said to Jason (1989), as well as the  Stadium House Trilogy featuring the KLF’s international hits during 1990/91, ‘3 A.M. Eternal’, ‘Last Train to Trancentral’ and ‘What Time Is Love?’, plus the single ‘Justified & Ancient’ (1991) featuring lead vocals by “The First Lady of Country” Miss Tammy Wynette. Released in the UK in March 1992 to celebrate the 1,000th anniversary of the discovery of America by The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu in the year 992, the music video America: What Time Is Love? is a guitar-heavy techno-metal version of their 1990 anthem. Shot on the James Bond stage at Pinewood, the film includes a Viking longship (acquired by Bill Butt) and submarine, with vocals from Glenn Hughes (of Deep Purple). It was the fifth and final top five single by the KLF in the UK.

A special release day launch screening of 23 Seconds to Eternity in its entirety will be followed by a Q&A with producer/director Bill Butt on 6 November (tickets go on sale to BFI members on 19th September and general sale 21st September via the BFI website).

Further UK cinema screenings are to be announced.

Copies of 23 Seconds to Eternity are available to pre-order via the Heavenly Bandcamp page.