In the same way that One Cut of the Dead became a cult classic not too soon after coming out, the spectacular Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes is this year’s must-see sci-fi comedy that I predict people will be talking about sooner rather than later. Similar to 2019’s One Cut, Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes — which played at this year’s Nightstream — is an impressive single 70-minute long take that also features a simple yet brilliant time travel concept and an engaging script.
The directorial debut of Junta Yamaguchi, this eccentric science fiction comedy is an exciting experience that captures the viewer’s attention immediately with its different take on time travel.
After work, Kato (Kazunari Tosa) discovers that the camera he has connected to his shop displayed on his computer screen in his apartment has a two minute delay to the security camera display in his shop downstairs. He is surprised to see an image of himself in the cafe, talking to him from 2 minutes in the future, starting off a chain reaction of him communicating between the two spaces with the two minute difference in the past and the future.
By setting the mechanics of the time travel to the small window of 2 minutes, this film shows a refreshing perspective on the time travel genre and keeps the story moving and the drama flowing as the viewer tries to figure out the next moves along with the protagonist while the clock’s ticking.
The film almost immediately starts off with the time travel discovery, wasting no time in throwing the viewer right into the action.
For a directorial debut — and for a single take film — the entire execution is truly awe-inspiring with what was done while being an indie, low-budget affair. Not only is this filmed in one take, but it is also filmed — and I cannot emphasize this enough — on an iPhone camera.
Compared to other time travel concepts, from low to high budgets, this one feels new and the idea is impressive, and that’s besides the fact that this was all orchestrated in a single take. The concept is so simple and lo-fi, but still blew my mind when I tried to think it through. Any fans of time travel films will love this unique spin on the genre.
Each two minute interval of traveling between the “time TVs” attracts new characters into trying out the TV, creating a hectic atmosphere of hilarious hijinks that blend into darker scenes as the film goes on.
Even while tackling this new sci-fi concept in a short runtime in a single take, it still manages to bring up existential time travel questions that tinge the film with a disturbing tone, like creating paradoxes.
Considering the multitude of restrictions on this film (single location, low budget, 2 minute timeframe) it is a miracle that this film accomplished what it did in a quick 70-minute runtime.
Like a bystander in the film, once you start watching it’s hard to not be invested in what will happen next in Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes. Even when you start figuring out the quirky perspective on time travel, the film throws you through new twists that keep it even more interesting.
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes is not yet available to rent, but has recently been acquired by Indiecan so keep your eyes out for this ingenious sci-fi that will surely be talked about in years to come.
Check out more Nightstream coverage here, and check out the trailer for Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes below.