Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes – Fantastic Fest ’21 review

Beyond The Infinite Two Minutes is an ingenious-yet-goofy high-concept time-loop film that absolutely wowed me – despite being shot on an iPhone and taking place in just three rooms.

Kato (Kazunori Tosa) is a Muakami-esque slacker who lives above the café he owns and feels depressed about his dead-end existence. Things take a turn for the odd one day when his own face appears on his iMac screen, and says he’s talking to him from two minutes into the future. The feed comes from another webcam-enabled screen, downstairs in the café – so when he’s upstairs he can learn from his future self, and when he’s downstairs he can impart important information to his past self.

Of course, Kato and his cohort of slacker friends immediately start trying to work out a way to leverage this temporal anomaly for minor financial and personal advantage. They soon hit upon the idea of bringing the computer down to the café, to point the two screens directly at each other. Then things get really weird

Beyond The Infinite Two Minutes is the first feature from the Japan’s Europe Kikaku theatre group, and has clearly been very heavily worked through at the script level. The story demands that important narrative elements occur on a regular two minute schedule, and the spiraling logic of the plot needs to be kept water-tight in order to not lose the audience. Just to make things really difficult for themselves, the creative team also decided emphasize the real-time aspect of the story by shooting everything in a pseudo-one-shot format.

The result is like Primer meets One Cut Of The Dead – a silly, glorious, smart, mildly weird tribute to unexpected chances, celebrating friendships and seizing opportunities. It’s so well-engineered I believe it will join the likes of Primer, Tenet and Timecrimes in the top drawer of “I’m going to need a flow chart” movies.

If that’s your bag… pick your best future by watching Beyond The Infinite Two Minutes!

Beyond The Infinite Two Minutes played at Fantastic Fest, and will also play the UK’s Frightfest at the end of the month.

Here’s the trailer:

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