not expect Somewhere in Time or any
Rachel McAdams time travel film. An obsessive compulsive scientist will invent
a means of jumping through time to win back his girlfriend, but he, or rather
different versions of himself, will sabotage his efforts at every turn. The
time paradoxes will compound massively and it will all be his collective fault
in Hugh Sullivan’s The Infinite Man (trailer here), which screens this
Friday, summer-style under the stars, as part of the 2014 season of Rooftop Films.
probably loves Lara too much. For their anniversary, he takes her back to the
tucked away motel where they spent their last anniversary, intent on recreating
every last detail. Unfortunately, the motel has since been shuttered, throwing
quite a spanner in the works. Lara also resents his habitual need to plan and
relive the past. Initially, she tries to be a good sport, but when her crude
ex-boyfriend crashes the party, the festivities completely bottom out. Through
an odd chain of events, the miffed Lara ends up leaving with Terry the hothead.
an entire year, Dean holes up at the abandoned inn, licking his wounds and
perfecting his time travel device. On the day of their former anniversary, Dean
convinces Lara to go back in time with him, so they can undo their past mistakes.
Of course, this is easier said than done. In fact, Dean will make this trip
several times, as he struggles to win Lara back from other versions of himself.
Infinite is a little slow
out of the blocks, but it has to establish at least one straight lap around
Dean’s year at the motel, before it starts turning everything inside out. Once
it gets going, it’s off to the races. With each successive go-round, Sullivan
completely changes the context of every scene, showing us what is now also
happening simultaneously outside our prior field of vision.
is an exceedingly clever screenplay that required very little special effects,
beyond the trick photography allowing Dean to talk to other Deans. Still, the
basic choreography determining who goes where when is rather impressive.
Josh McConville is so cringey as Dean, it pushes viewers away during the set-up
rather than pulling us in. Still, he creates a distinctively neurotic portrait
and doggedly stays in character. He also has some very effective scenes playing
with and off himself, so to speak. Hannah Marshall is a good sport as Lara,
nicely maintaining the ambiguities in each scene while staying in the (ever
recurring) moment. Although it is a small role, Alex Dimitriades brings several
shots of energizing madness to the film as Terry.
is not quite as wildly entertaining as Nacho
Vigalondo’s Timecrimes but it constructs a similarly dazzlingly complex time-bender
narrative, with hardly any visible seams. Richly inventive, it is smart science
fiction rendered on a very human scale. Recommended with enthusiasm, The Infinite Man screens Friday night (5/23)
in Gowanus, Brooklyn, presented by Rooftop Films.
Labels: Australian cinema, Rooftop Films '14, Sci-Fi films