media can really take you back in time—literally. It has become a semi-frequent
metaphor-Macguffin in time travel-themed short films, such as Jesse Atlas’s Record/Play and Jonathan Dillon’s Celluloid Dreams. A tweedy inventor will
also bust out the old school film projector to right a past wrong in Michael
Lippert’s short film Reversal (trailer here), which screened
during the 2016 Fantasia International Film Festival.
as Frank was poised to secure funding for his time travel device, his eternally
patient wife Emma was murdered by a home invader. To add insult to injury, the
liberal courts let the killer off easy, citing his mental health issues.
However, Frank had been secretly conducting his time travel experiments in
their flat, so he just so happens to have the relevant photochemical film to
allow him brief trips back in time. That old film stock sure could burn up
fast, couldn’t it? As a result, Frank’s supply might not hold out long enough
for all his time travel plans.
Lippert’s screenplay never even attempts to explain the mechanics of its system
of time travel. This is a mistake, because that sort of scientistic mumbo jumbo
is one of the pleasures of the sub-genre. However, the old couple’s
relationship feels realistically “lived-in” and ultimately quite poignant. Bill
McGough and Donna Steele play off each other nicely and give the short film
is also quite a handsome production, especially
by genre standards. Cinematography Austin Rink and production designer Manuel
Perez Pena give it a stylish look that evokes both past nostalgia and great
cosmic portents. It is a fully realized film that should satisfy fans of Somewhere in Time and Frequency. Recommended accordingly, Reversal had its Canadian premiere at
this year’s Fantasia.
Labels: Fantasia '16, Short Films, Time Travel Films