Saturday, February 16, 2013

Boston Sci-Fi Film Fest 2013 Day 2: When Time Becomes a Woman

The second day had a repeat from the first at 7pm (Found in Time), so I took the opportunity to bank an extra half-hour at work, do some grocery shopping, and relax a little bit before heading back up the Red Line for this one. Under certain circumstances, I might have bailed, but, hey, I paid money, I don't recall ever seeing a movie from Jordan, and this one had actually amassed some positive reviews.

And it's all right, for what it is - one of those art-house films that is all dialogue and striking imagery, though it doesn't really integrate them exceptionally well or use many of the other tools in the filmmaker's toolbox. My sense was that the audience was grumbly and somewhat dissatisfied after, perhaps hoping for a more active picture.

When Time Becomes a Woman

* * ½ (out of four)
Seen 11 February 2013 in Somerville Theatre #2 (Boston Sci-Fi Fest, video)

I'm guessing that there's not a whole lot of money for science fiction filmmaking in Jordan, which is why When Time Becomes a Woman not only feels less like a movie than a one-act play, but also has everybody in the cast and crew pulling triple- or quadruple-duty behind the scenes. So, adjust expectations accordingly, perhaps - odds are it won't blow your mind but it may be an interestingly different experience.

A man (Zaid Baqaeen) and a woman (Najwan Baqaeen) meet in a thin strip of land between the mountains and the water, with the man saying he has searched for her for three years, and he needs for her to return with him or the world will end. She's skeptical, wanting more information, especially once he claims to be Zad, a great revolutionary that she has read much about.

Now, if these two were sensible people who answered reasonable questions when asked rather than offering up a question of their own in philosophical opposition to the other's supposed meaning, this might be a ten or fifteen minute movie, rather than one that runs seventy-three (including leisurely credit roll). After all, Zad wants something, she wants a reason why she should, so communicate some information, already. Have a spirited debate on the ethics of the situation! These games may superficially make the movie sound intellectual, but at times the circles they run in can get frustrating.

Full review on eFilmCritic.

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