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Directed by Junta Yamaguchi

Cast: Aki Asakura, Gota Ishida, Kazunori Tosa, Riko Fujitani

Audience Award, 2021 Nippon Connection Film Festival

Special Jury Mention, Best Debut Film, 2021 Fantasia Film Festival

BEYOND THE INFINITE TWO MINUTES is a single-take time loop comedy that breathes new life into the sci-fi genre with its lo-fi, high concept storytelling. Somber cafe owner Kato lives above his shop and pines for Megumi, the girl-next-door who works at a neighboring barbershop. Before his small time music gig, Kato discovers a two-minute delay between his computer screens that enables him to speak with himself, two minutes into the future. Word gets around about this “Time TV,” and his overcaffeinated gang of friends, now intrigued by this phenomenon, start plotting ways to profit from their prophetic new point-of-view.

Junta Yamaguchi’s directorial debut is ambitious and slyly designed, the entire film set in a limited location and shot in one take on an iPhone camera. Yamaguchi teams up with members of the Europe Kikaku theater troupe, whose chemistry and lighthearted yet overzealous dialogue and choreography resist the potential tedium of repetition.

In slapstick fashion, these five friends start experimenting to push the limitations of this newfound technology, mesmerized by the infinite layers of the Droste effect. Screens upon screens start to unveil their destinies. Wary of plausible paradoxes in time and space, they follow the lead of their future selves and end up in absurd predicaments attempting to maintain order. Wormhole disturbances become the least of their worries as gangsters, the Time and Space Bureau, and their own self-interested agendas start interrupting the fun. Once again, the future becomes uncertain.

—Carmela Prudencio

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