Yesterday was March 375th 2020, and I marked it by watching two time-loop movies. I then watched the short film 12:01pm. This is one of two adaptations of a short story by Richard A. Lupoff and it’s available on youtube. Spoilers follow.
Myron Castleman is trapped within a one-hour loop, which takes place during his lunch break. We initially see him sitting and talking to a woman on a park bench, and he explains to her that time is due to reset.
This is a pulp sci-fi story and the ‘time bounce’ is caused by the collision between matter and anti-matter universes. I know it’s just a macguffin, but it’s irritating. The consequences of the loop are far more interesting than the explanation, particularly when the explanation’s physics makes no sense. Despite the window-dressing, the film managed to show Myron’s frustration at being stuck within the same hour.
(The film is also interesting because it’s made plain that the entire world is looping. Myron is the only person conscious of this fact).
(Something that is rarely considered in these films is whether the universe continues after the resets. In a multiverse, we might have each day continuing, with most of them making no sense to the person who has just left the loop. Imagine Bill Murray’s Phil Connor leaving one of the loops a day or two before he fell in love…)
This was originally made as a TV film in 1990, and that affects the quality. The interaction between Myron and the woman on the bench feels dated, as does his treatment of his secretary. This was nominated for ‘Best Short Film, Live Action’ in the 1991 Oscars, and subsequently remade into a full movie whose makers considered suing Groundhog Day‘s producers.
- Length of first iteration: 9 minutes
- Length of second iteration: 6 minutes
- Reset point: the end of an hour
- Fidelity of loop: perfect
- Exit from the loop: no exit