Junat Yamaguchi (director)
15 November 2021 (released)
16 November 2021
This review was first published after Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes was presented at London FrightFest 2021.
An absorbing, mind bending 70 minutes of theoretical physics and sci-fi from director Junta Yamaguchi and writer Makato Ueda that leaves you scratching your head, while getting carried along by the zest of the storytelling dynamic.
Closing up a cafe for the night boss Kato (Kazunari Tosa) makes his way up to his flat above to see himself on his TV, two minutes into the future telling him where his guitar pick is. Unbelieving he goes back down to the cafe to test it and low and behold he talks to his past self. So a time loop is formed that can sometimes be problematic in these types of concepts. But here dealt with very imaginatively and about as believably as one can hope for.
Pulling in waitress Aya (Riko Fujitani) and friend Komiya (Gota Ishida) they begin to experiment with the phenomena that is further developed when their other friends Tanabe (Masahi Suwa) and Ozawa (Yoshifumi Sakai) get involved. With more intellectual fire-power available and a working knowledge of physics they dub it Time TV.
After some fun and games there’s the natural steer towards ‘what can this do for us?’ There’s money of course but before that Kato fancies his neighbour Megumi (Aki Asakura) and asks her out based on his two-minute warning.
They begin to experiment and eventually fall into the Droste Effect (look it up) that allows them to see both back and forth on time. With that the money making comes into play drawing in more characters to convolute the story. The film does go into pure science fiction towards the end but as manic as it all is, it’s actually sort of believable.
Filmed on an iPhone and from the beginning virtually all in one take it is a masterpiece of film-making technique. To be able to tell a high concept very complicated tale too, without losing the audience is bordering on the incredible but here it is.
That is down to a cast that throw caution to the wind and are clearly having a ball with the concept, filming and script. It does take some concentration to truly keep up (and there are good old paradoxes). It is quite satisfying to just to let yourself relax and be content that times you may be bewildered, in the confidence that you will never be bored.
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes is available now on Blu-ray and DVD with a short film ‘Howling’, a making of feature, and an interview with director Junta Yamaguchi