Fantasia 2021 Film Festival Review: Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes

Written by Patrick Hao


Not to be Christopher Nolan, but movies can function as a magic trick. Sure, you can start poking around any logical fallacies or explanations, but to truly enjoy the experience is to allow yourself to be immersed in the hands of a capable director or magician. Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes might be one of the best movies as a magic trick in recent memory.

The feature debut of Junto Yamaguchi, Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes takes place entirely in a café and apartment upstairs. Shot in a faux one-take style in the vein of 1917 or Birdman, the film follows Kato (Kazunori Tosa) a café owner who notices that the café television set is broadcasting the future to his computer screen. The kicker is that the computer screen can only see two minutes into the future and is limited by what the television set sees.

This leads to a rambunctious series of events and time loops as Kato’s employee, Megumi (Aki Asakura), and a cast of café regulars (Riko Fujitani, Gota Ishida, Suwa Masashi) discovers the “Time TV.” Due to the limitations, the characters run up and down between the apartment and the café to learn about the future and give the future to their past selves. It’s amazing that watching the winsome group of characters perform the same routine repeatedly never gets tiresome.

Shot on a meager $50,000 budget, Yamaguchi’s film follows the sketch comedy logic of “if this is true then what else must be true.” The one take nature of the film’s editing makes the film feel like live theater in that the actors had a  sense of play in their performances. Yamaguchi allows his characters to tease out, experiment, and discover the natural limitations the situation presents them – an aspect that always seems to be absent in other time travel movies. This is also the perfect way to seamlessly ingrain the exposition of the rules into the film. Soon the characters begin thinking of ways to exploit this power that is comically not too powerful. There is only so much you can learn in two minutes. 

Despite the two simultaneous gimmicks – the time travel and one-shot aspect – the film is never engulfed by it. Yamaguchi keeps a lighthearted tone throughout but does not shy away from more heady themes of predestination.  It is interesting the way the characters make the decisions of their future selves to not disrupt time. And at less than 70 minutes, the film is the perfect length: brisk and never wearing out its welcome.

Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes is the perfect kind of festival discovery. The film embraced the limitations of its budget and sets to make something creative and fun. By the end, I was so in awe of the film’s precision that I never once questioned the film’s premise and just embraced the experience. That is true magic.

Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes Trailer

Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes is screening as part of the Fantasia 2021 Film Festival.

You can follow Patrick and his passion for film on Letterboxd and Twitter.

2021 Golden Globes Preview

Written by Alexander Reams

Well folks, it’s that time of year, where all of Hollywood’s best and drunkest get together, have one big cocktail party, and hand out a few awards.

In all seriousness, the Golden Globes aren’t the most prestigious or serious awards show, but they can boost or take away from a film more than people realize. Thinking back to 2019 BC (Before COVID), 1917 did not have much steam, until the Golden Globes where it picked up the Best Director and Best Motion Picture: Drama awards and became the frontrunner to win those awards at the Oscars.

Now this Sunday, February 28, are the 2021 Golden Globes and I’ll be giving my predictions as well as my insight into the upcoming night. 

– The Father 
– Mank 
– Nomadland 
– Promising Young Woman
– The Trial of the Chicago 7

These nominees are very similar to what we’ve been seeing throughout the critics awards nominees, with the surprise addition of Promising Young Woman. I agree that Carey Mulligan gives a great performance, but in my opinion it has no place being in this category. Be that as it may, I still think that the HFPA will award The Trial of the Chicago 7 with Best Motion Picture; Drama. My personal pick would be Mank, as my other choice was not even nominated Da 5 Bloods

– Viola Davis: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom 
– Andra Day: The United States vs. Billie Holiday 
– Vanessa Kirby: Pieces of a Woman 
– Frances McDormand: Nomadland 
– Carey Mulligan: Promising Young Woman

Full disclosure, I have not seen The United States vs. Billie Holiday and Nomadland yet, however I believe that the winner will be neither of those films, Viola Davis or Carey Mulligan are who I believe will take home the award, Viola Davis is (FINALLY) getting more and more recognized for her fantastic work, and while Ma Rainey, might not be her best performance, the HFPA has always been about those career wins, and I think this would be another one after her win for 2016’s “Fences”. On the flipside, this is Carey Mulligan’s second nomination for a Globe after a very impressive career filled with fantastic performances so the HFPA might award her since Viola Davis already has won before. My personal pick would be Vanessa Kirby for Pieces of a Woman. 

– Riz Ahmed: Sound of Metal 
– Chadwick Boseman: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom 
– Anthony Hopkins: The Father 
– Gary Oldman: Mank 
– Tahar Rahim: The Mauritanian

While I have not seen The Mauritanian yet, I think we can all agree that the Golden Globe Best Actor race is already done, with the late Chadwick Boseman locking it up. Some have said that he is only getting the buzz because of his untimely passing earlier this year, however I believe that whether or not he had passed, he would easily be winning the Globe for his performance in Ma Rainey.

– Borat Subsequent Moviefilm 
– Hamilton 
– Music 
– Palm Springs 
– The Prom

I’m gonna take a quick minute and gush over the fact that a film like Palm Springs is nominated for (what will probably be) its biggest nomination this awards season. Palm Springs is one of my favorite Golden Globes nominations this year. Now the winner? I’m still on the Hamilton train, it took the world by storm, and while Borat might have more of an obvious political statement, I think that Hamilton will be taking the award home. 

– Maria Bakalova: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm 
– Kate Hudson: Music 
– Michelle Pfieffer: French Exit 
– Rosamund Pike: I Care A Lot
– Anya Taylor-Joy: Emma

I’ll keep this short and sweet, the only nominee who could challenge Maria Bakalova in my opinion is Rosamund Pike, whose nomination came out of nowhere.

– Sacha Baron Cohen: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm 
– James Corden: The Prom 
– Lin-Manuel Miranda: Hamilton 
– Dev Patel: The Personal History of David Copperfield 
– Andy Samberg: Palm Springs

This Best Actor race is a bit more tied up than its other comedy/musical counterpart, between Baron Cohen, Miranda, and Samberg being the three vying for the award, but in the end I think that Baron Cohen will take it. 

– Emerald Fennell: Promising Young Woman 
– David Fincher: Mank 
– Regina King: One Night in Miami… 
– Aaron Sorkin: The Trial of the Chicago 7’ 
– Chloé Zhao: Nomadland 

The only person who could challenge Zhao at this point is Spike Lee, but seeing as he wasn’t nominated, Zhao is a lock, I’ll be shocked if anyone other than her wins. 

Thank you for checking out my Golden Globes preview, don’t forget to tune into it on NBC at 7PM EST/ 4PM EST.

You can connect with Alexander on his social media profiles: Instagram, Letterboxd, and Twitter.