7 Splinters in Time [Omphalos] (2018)

What a wonderfully strange film!

A detective, called in on what should be a routine murder case is shocked to find that the dead man is himself.

Before long, other bodies that look just like him show up, and he even finds another himself running a bowling alley.

…And when he finally gets a look at the killer, he looks very familiar.

I love this sort of complex, mind-bender film, but this one is more complex than most.  We have the rantings of the mysterious Luka from his underground bunker, the sinister librarian who seems to know far more than he’s letting on, the things that seem to flicker into and out of existence, the shreds of memory the protagonist has of his missing past, and the strange tattoo he has on his arm which seems to be more than just a tattoo.

What is far more impressive, however, is that it all fits together, and that we are given more than enough information to make sense of it all, even if all the pieces aren’t neatly assembled and handed to us at the end.  But then, that, too, is part of the fun.

The look of this film is exceptional.  The strange cityscapes, with their buildings that look like exploded hypercubes, the lighting and set-ups, the dramatic shots are all impressive.  One might be tempted, as they really don’t fit into a common look for the film, to accuse them of using every cool setup they could come up with without trying to fit into a whole, but it works — and it fits into the fragmented view of things that is at the heart of the film.  And, as someone once pointed out (about cartoonists, but it still applies to film directors), it is the young artists who indulge in wild visual exaggerations and experimentation who ultimately settle down to become great artists, so I am all in favor of any young artist who explores the possibilities of his medium.

Before this, Gabriel Judet-Weinshel had directed only a handful of shorts and a silent film, and 7 Splinters in Time is certainly an auspicious venture into the world of SF — and an impressive first feature.  It’s not really a film the general audience will ever appreciate — it’s too complex and intellectual a film for that.  But then, science fiction fans are not the general audience.  In fact, they are usual more open to complex films than the routine Cineplex goer, so the real question is whether he will find the right audience for this impressive film.

I for one hope he does.

Buy or Watch on Amazon:

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