A new breed of films are surfacing in the forever changing cinema industry. Independent science fiction, or sci-findie if you will, is a forming genre which takes elements of futuristic technology – in this case time travel – and applies it to a simple story, with no aliens or laser beams in sight. Australian comedy ‘The Infinite Man’, written and directed by Hugh Sullivan, has one location, three actors but a great deal of creativity and intelligence. Dean (Josh McConville) wants to recreate the perfect anniversary weekend with his girlfriend Lana (Hannah Marshall). He takes her to same holiday resort, which unbeknownst to him is now closed and deserted, and has an agenda to repeat the same activities. However, when Hannah’s ex Terry (Alex Dimitriades) appears, his carefully laid plans go terribly awry.
One year later, a heartbroken Dean digs out a ridiculously looking time-travel device which he has cooked up ‘in the lab’ and proceeds to send himself and Lana back in time to give it another go. Of course, this backfires when his current self follows suit, trapping the characters in an infinite loop of misery, jealousy and hilarity. Despite the narrative repeating itself, it never becomes uninteresting and actually gets funnier as the plot develops and we see Dean become hysterical in his pursuit of eternal happiness. The dialogue has the same quirky edge and unenthused tones as that in the New Zealand sitcom Flight of the Conchords, and is delivered with impressive comic ability by all involved.
The inventiveness of the plotting means that the viewer is always kept thinking, and the low-budget environment becomes an intimate microcosm of unrequited love. I hope that the work will reach a wide audience after its festival reception, and it’d be intriguing to see where the ideas could travel with more money to spend. Until then, ‘The Infinite Man’ is substantial proof that big ideas can work well on the smallest of scales, and is a notable feature debut for film-maker Hugh Sullivan.