There’s something magical about an ensemble cast film. It is a well-oiled machine. Or at least, it needs to be to succeed. Fantaspoa Film Festival 2021 brings us the best of horror and fantasy once more. And I’m happy to report that Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes is a triumph of independent cinema. It is great Japanese indie sci-fi. Want to know more? Let’s review.
The premise of the film is rather simple: time traveling TV sets. Well, a TV and an iMac. A coffee shop’s TV beams the past into the future, where it can be seen in the shop owner’s iMac. Well, I lied, it’s not simple. So, here’s the trailer to explain it for me.
As with any movie which features time travel as its plot device, you can only think about Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes for so long before you get a headache. Thankfully, exposition is built into the dialog and the premise, as more and more friends join in the fun. And “friends” is a key word for this flick. It’s all about the characters and their relationships. So, don’t focus too much on trying to decipher whether the time traveling “works”. Just focus on the people doing the traveling.
This, I’m glad to say, isn’t too difficult. The cast of this great Japanese indie sci-fi film are a charming bunch. You could almost call them caricatures. They are an endearing troupe, with big, loud performances that will bring a huge smile to your face. Even the villains are somewhat funny. Performances all around are, in a word, magnificent.
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes follows an independent Asian film tradition of focusing on loveable characters to make up for the shoestring budget. This is easier to pull off with a dramedy than a sci-fi flick, though, which makes this movie even more impressive. It also makes me wonder whether we really need 100+ million movies. Why don’t we always make it about the characters? Alas, I digress.
On the technical front, the whole thing gets even more impressive. Not content with pulling off a no-budget sci-fi, director Junta Yamaguchi went the extra hog and made it a one-shot feature film. Of course, you can see the intersections if you look close enough. But much like La Casa, Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes creates the illusion of continuity well enough to never break the suspension of disbelief.
In a roundabout way, what I’m trying to say with this review, is that I loved this film. It is everything I like about independent cinema. OK, it isn’t horror, but it’s somewhat horror adjacent. And to be honest, I will take any excuse to watch/review something like this any day of the week.
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes, a great Japanese indie sci-fi, is part of Fantaspoa, which runs for free on the streaming platform Darkflix, from April 9th through the 18th. All film screenings are geo-blocked to Brazil, with additional details available at www.fantaspoa.com.
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes
A great Japanese indie sci-fi flick, Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes charms across space and time.