Saturday, 24 October 2009
Turn Back Time
Another film review. Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel.
Before I begin, I should declare an interest. Up until last year, I was working with the producers of FAQATT on my own film script, until the project went cold because nobody was investing in British films at the time (it seems the film industry knew there was a recession coming). Despite that, it was a good experience, I got an option fee, I got paid for re-writes, and I remain hopeful the script – which is the best thing I’ve ever written – will one day flicker in the darkness of a cinema auditorium.
As my project was the follow-up to FAQATT, I had a clear personal interest in hoping that FAQATT was a success, and followed its production closely; I met the writer, and listened with interest to tales of how the film changed after the test screenings; originally, the whole story was set in a pub, but then a new beginning was filmed, and a new ending, which meant it ended up coming out a year later than planned.
Which, finally seeing the film, was a bit of a pity, as a sci-fi film set entirely in a pub is an intriguing, out-of-the-ordinary prospect, whereas a sci-fi film set almost but not quite entirely in a pub just feels low-budget.
That said, I really enjoyed it. It was clever, original, funny, and as it’s about time-travel pub-bore sci-fi nerds having time-travel adventures, it struck a wish-fulfilment chord. If anything, I wanted it to go further; to have more, stranger iterations of past and future, becoming completely Being John Malkovich, whilst still tying everything together with cause-and-effect. As it is, the happy ending doesn’t quite pay off the slow build-up; it feels abruptly Hollywood rather than British Shaun Of The Dead-style charm.