Back to the Future is the movie that Japanese filmmaker Junta Yamaguchi said was the biggest influence for his inventive time travel film Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes.
The movie asks: what if the face staring back at us from our computer was a version of our self two minutes in the future?
Kato closes his cafe for the night and heads upstairs to his bedroom where he discovers that very thing – the security monitor in his cafe is transmitting his future self on his computer. He is understandably confused and he recruits his friends and co-workers to try to figure out how this small time loop works.
The troupe trudges upstairs and down again, testing the Time TV out and thinking it’s crazy fun, with potential for magic tricks or finding out if present Kato should ask his neighbour Megumi for a date, by asking future Kato what she said.
Kato is opposed to the future dictating the actions of the present, but his increasingly excited friends see the possibilities of time travelling TV sets and the potential benefits of knowing what’s happening in the near-future and how they can make money out of it. Things get interesting when they persuade Kato to bring his monitor downstairs and place it so it’s facing the cafe monitor, creating a multiple mirror effect as they try to extend the two-minute window as far forward into the future as they can. Although the underlying philosophy is heady, heavy stuff, the situations that occur and the group’s usage of the time loop are very clever with some tense, but mostly goofy and comedic moments.
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes is one of the most innovative and entertaining time-travel stories in years, with a surprisingly moving conclusion. It’s also an incredible piece of filmmaking, creatively shot to appear to be done in a single take. Chris Knight of the National Post called it “an intricate and supremely enjoyable puzzle-box of a story, bursting with charm and momentum in equal measure.”
This film is subtitled and shows once only, at 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 7 at the Salmar Classic.
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