I’ll always go for a time loop

Time loops are one of my favorite fictional devices. I first became aware of this this just by listing some of my favorite movies and noticing that most of them had time loops. If I had to guess, I think I enjoy how they explore the wide range of possibilities that exist in a single moment. I also think they offer a good opportunity to explore themes relating to regret, especially when a character has to accept an outcome despite repeated attempts to prevent it.

Here’s a list of some of the movies and shows featuring time loops I have enjoyed:

Recently, I discovered another low-budget & independent take on the time loop, Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes (ドロステのはてで僕ら), a live-action Japanese film. It has a brief runtime and consists of a single shot (edited together from multiple takes). Compared to Primer, BITM is much more light and comedic in tone. But both films’ main draw is a uniquely creative time-travel mechanic.

In BITM, the main character Kato discovers that two screens, one in his apartment and the other in the café he runs, are linked to one another, like a video call. The twist is that there is a two-minute offset between the two screens, which means one screen is showing the future of the other. This leads to all sorts of crazy shenanigans, especially once someone gets the idea to put the screens in front of one another, creating a loop that stretches futher into the future. It’s a lot of fun to watch the whole premise play out.

I would love to see more films that explore a cool idea like this and then wrap up cleanly before overstaying their welcome. The production is simple in relative terms (although I think the long takes were their own challenge), but it doesn’t detract from the film’s enjoyability at all.

What is your favorite time-loop story? Do you have another favorite trope in fiction? Let me know your thoughts at my Ctrl-C email: gome ​@ ​ctrl-c.club.