Droste no hate de bokura [Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes] (2021)

Droste no hate de bokura
Director: Junta Yamaguchi
Writer: Makoto Ueda
Cast: Kazunari Tosa, Riko Fujitani, Gôta Ishida, Masashi Suwa, Yoshifumi Sakai, Haruki Nakagawa, Munenori Nagano, Takashi Sumita, Chikara Honda, Aki Asakura
Part of: SLASH Film Festival
Seen on: 29.9.2021

After a long working day, café owner Kato (Kazunari Tosa) retires to his apartment above the shop, only to be greeted by himself on-screen, talking from the café downstairs two minutes into the future. Albeit only a short time into the future, this glimpse sets off a chain of events that will change Kato’s life forever.

Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes didn’t just win the festival competition this year, it also won my heart, becoming one of my favorites of the festival for sure. It’s smart, perfectly crafted and fun.

The film poster showing Kato (Kazunari Tosa) holding a screen that shows a refracting image.

Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes is impressive on quite a few levels. For one, it is simply impressive how well-crafted the film is. Perfectly staged and edited to look like it was shot in one take, and narratively tight and pretty much flawless about the time travel (which is definitely rare), it is a joy to watch it unfold and to marvel at the craft that went into it.

This is made even more impressive given that it’s the first film of a theater group. To craft something so complicated so tightly at your first try is simply amazing. Especially since they didn’t have a whole lot of budget and shot the entire film on an iPhone. I can only recommend to stay during the credits and watch the behind the scenes footage they show there.

Kato (Kazunari Tosa) looking at himself on his computer screen. The screen version is holding up two fingers.

But a film can be technically perfect and still be no fun (in fact, I’d say that the more technically perfect it gets, the higher the risk that it isn’t very fun at all). But even in that regard, the film delivers. The story is fun and told with a nice sense of humor, the characters likeable and easy to root for. I especially liked the surly Kato, and the soft, romantic turn the story takes for him.

In short, Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes reminds us, on the one hand, why so many people love time travel stories, and on the other hand, that time travel stories can be well told and fun even on a small budget. All you need is to be inventive and take your time (pun slightly intended) to prepare. The resulting film is everything you could hope for.

Kato (Kazunari Tosa) and his friends looking aghast at something.

Summarizing: simply wonderful.

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