Whenever an evidently low-budgeted project gets itself off the ground and revels in the possibilities of creativity, rather than monetary reliance, whatever the result it’s difficult to not be somehow impressed.
Such is the case with Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes, a high-concept time-loop effort filmed on iPhones and born from an acting workshop. It has that joyful smell of a passion project, and even as the film starts to wade in repetitiveness, the sheer inventiveness and technical originality keep it constantly watchable.
At the centre of the forthcoming time-loop is Kato (Kazunori Tosa), a former musician of sorts who’s no longer chasing that pipe dream and lives something of an aimless life above a cafe. Upon arriving home one night he spots himself on his television, talking to himself from two minutes in the supposed future.
Curious about what he’s just heard, Kato runs downstairs and promptly delivers the same message to his past self on the TV screen, finding himself in an infinite time-loop that asks more questions than it initially delivers. Naturally curious, he convinces his friends to test out this theory, and soon they are all exploiting their past and future selves for whatever knowledge they can muster.
An absolute head-scratcher of a film at times, the entire cast and crew dedicate themselves wholly to a bizarre concept that takes the well-travelled time-loop narrative and twists it just so; the absence of the characters crossing their past selves is one such ingredient that truly plays into the artistry of the rules at hand.
Taking the “pandemic past-time” of video conferencing and altering it with the slightly joyous confusion of a Christopher Nolan narrative, Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes has evident pride in its skewered simplicity. It occasionally runs the risk of its novelty wearing thin – there’s only so many conversations you have with yourself before it becomes monotonous – but there’s constant momentum adhered to which keeps it undeniably fascinating.
THREE AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes is screening as part of this year’s Fantasia Film Festival, which is being presented both virtually and physically between August 5th – 25th, 2021. For more information head to the official Fantasia Film Festival page.