Implicitly or explicitly, society constantly gives us the imperative never to age, to keep our bodies and minds young in order to be valuable—this is particularly the case for women. However, the ageing body tells a valuable story that is worth tracing and analyzing in more depth. In this article, I explore two groups of films in which the ageing bodies of the characters and actors contribute to understanding the narrative of what I call the time-critical sequel. These are sequels produced several years or even decades since their original story was released, in which the years between one film and the other are incorporated into the narrative. First, I will define the time-critical sequel and how it interacts with its parent film. Following, I will develop how the duality of the ageing body of the character/actor, along with their corporeality and embodiment, becomes the means through which a story is told on our screens. I will do this by analyzing Richard Linklater's Before trilogy (1995–2013) and Danny Boyle's Trainspotting (1996), and T2 Trainspotting (2017).
Dr Mariana Pintado Zurita (she/her) did her PhD in film and TV studies at the University of Glasgow. Her current research investigates time and temporal experience in time-critical sequels. The project focuses on a close textual analysis of sequels drawing from Deleuze's philosophical project along with social theories of time. She completed her master of arts degree in film studies at the University of Kent in Canterbury and her bachelor's degree in graphic design at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, where she has been a lecturer in semiotics and design philosophy.