High Noon, Part II: The Return of Will Kane (1980, directed by Jerry Jameson)


One year after throwing his tin star to the ground and riding out of town in disgust at the cowardice of the citizens who he once served, former Marshal Will Kane (Lee Majors, stepping into the role that won Gary Cooper an Oscar) returns to Hadleyville with his bride, Amy (Katherine Cannon).

Hadleyville has a new sheriff.  When Kane angrily left, he was replaced by J.D. Ward (Pernell Roberts), a corrupt tyrant who runs the town with an iron fist and who is more interested in making money than upholding the law.  Ward is determined to collect the bounty on Ben Irons (David Carradine), a reformed outlaw who swears that he’s innocent.  Kane decides to try to help Ben escape from Ward and his posse, which leads to potentially disastrous consequences for him.  Will the town finally show the courage necessary to stand behind Kane or will he once again be forced to go it alone?

High Noon, Part II is a made-for-TV movie.  It was obviously designed to be a pilot for a potential television series, one that would have featured the weekly adventures of Will Kane in Hadleyville.  As far as made-for-TV westerns are concerned, it’s about average, neither particularly good nor bad.  Lee Majors may not have been a great actor but he was believable in western roles and both Pernell Roberts and David Carradine give good performances as well.  Jerry Jameson directs in a workmanlike manner.  The story’s predictable but it’s a western so what do you expect?

The main problem with the film is that it’s set up to be a sequel to a film that never needed one.  When Gary Cooper threw that star in the dust and climbed up on that wagon with Grace Kelly in High Noon, the whole point of the story was that Will Kane was never going to return to Hadleyville because the citizens of Hadleyville deserted him when he most needed them.  Hadleyville didn’t deserve Will Kane.  That’s what set High Noon apart from other westerns.  Having Kane return to Hadleyville and once again pick up the tin star negates everything that made High Noon so effective.  The whole point of the ending was that Will Kane was never going to return but, according to this movie, he did and forgave the town for the unforgivable.  It’s impossible to watch High Noon II without thinking about how it goes against everything that the first High Noon was all about.

Oddly enough, the film’s forgettable screenplay was written by the great Elmore Leonard.  Leonard did better work before this film and he would do better work afterwards.

 

Lifetime Film Review: The Secret Life of a Celebrity Surrogate (dir by Mark Gantt)


So, put yourself in this situation.

You’re an aspiring writer, which is a really nice way of saying that you don’t have much money.  Because you haven’t paid your rent in four months, you’ve just gotten kicked out of your apartment.  As bad as that is, you can take some comfort from the fact that your incredibly hot boyfriend owns a really nice and really big apartment and he probably won’t have any issue with letting you live there.  I mean, he’s always eager for you to sleep over so why not just move in?  So, you head over to his place to give him the news and….

….some blonde that you’ve never seen before opens the door and asks you who you are!

Okay, now you’re in trouble.  Not only do you not have an apartment but you also don’t have a boyfriend.  You have no money and you have no family to fall back on.  While many writers wrote some of their best work while living in boxcars and drifting across the country, you’re not sure that’s what you want to do with the next few years of your life.  So, you get on social media and you let the world know that you need a job.  ANY JOB!

That’s what happens to Olivia (Carrie Wampler), the character at the center of The Secret Life of a Celebrity Surrogate.  It all happens during the first 10 minutes or so of this movie and it does make Olivia into an instantly likable character.  There’s no way that you can’t sympathize with her because everything that could go wrong in her life has gone wrong in just the course of a few hours.  When Olivia is contacted by Cassidy (Jordyn Aurora Aquino) and told that there is a job opportunity for her but that it requires Olivia to be discreet, you can’t blame Olivia for jumping at the opportunity.  What else is Olivia going to do?  Starve?

It turns out that Cassidy works for Ava (Brianne Davis) and Hayden (Carl Beukes) von Richter, a celebrity couple who, after Ava’s last few films flopped at the box office, are now mostly famous for being famous.  Ava and Hayden hire Olivia to act as a surrogate to carry their child.  Olivia will get $150,000 once the baby is born and she’ll get to stay at Ava and Hayden’s fabulous mansion.  The main conditions seem reasonable: Olivia will have to be discreet and she’ll also have to stay healthy and be regularly checked out by Ava’s army of doctors.  Olivia agrees.

And, at first, everything seems okay.  Ava and Hayden are charming, even if Ava is a bit high-strung and Hayden often seems like he’s lost in thought.  Olivia bonds with Cassidy and chef Peter (Kenneth Miller).  Ava can be demanding but that makes sense and …. wait, a minute, did Ava just do cocaine in a public restaurant?   And what exactly is Hayden doing with that hypodermic needle?

Needless to say, Ava and Hayden are not as perfect as they initially seem and Olivia soon starts to have doubts about whether or not they should even be parents.  Hayden, especially, seems to get creepier (and more and more gropey) with each passing day.  Soon, that fabulous mansion starts to feel like a prison and Olivia comes to realize that her employers are even more dangerous than she originally suspected….

The Secret Life of a Celebrity Surrogate is a film that’s very much of the moment.  We live in a society that is obsessed with celebrities, even faded ones like Ava and Hayden.  We also live in a world where ordinary people — like Olivia — can actually connect with celebrities via social media.  At the same time, though people may not always be quick to admit it, we all secretly suspect that most celebrities are actually crazy and probably have a dungeon underneath their mansion.  Even our favorites are often suspected of harboring dark secrets, as seen by the eagerness of the twitter mob to cancel their former heroes.  As such, we can all relate to Olivia’s willingness to be a part of Ava and Hayden’s seemingly glamorous life while, at the time, Ava and Hayden’s “quirks” serve to confirm what we’ve always suspected about what goes on behind closed doors in Beverly Hills and on Park Avenue.

The Secret Life of a Celebrity Surrogate strikes a good balance between thriller and satire.  It embraces the melodrama while also retaining enough self-awarness to be fun.  Brianne Davis and Carl Beukes are both entertainingly sleazy as the celebrity couple from Hell while Carrie Wampler is sympathetic and likable in the role of Olivia.  This is an entertaining Lifetime movie that will be enjoyed by anyone who has ever looked at a celebrity tweet and thought to themselves, “What a weirdo.”

Four Rode Out (1970, directed by John Peyser)


In this self-conciously hip western, former Lolita Sue Lyon stars as Myra Polsen.  Myra has a reputation for being the town tramp and, when her father discovers Myra in bed with wanted outlaw Frenando Nunez (Julian Mateos), it leads to her father having a violent breakdown which ends with him shooting himself and Frenando escaping into the desert.  (Before anyone comments, that’s not a misspelling.  The outlaw’s name actually is Frenando.)  World-weary U.S. Marshall Ross (Pernell Roberts) heads into the desert to try to capture Frenando.  Accompanying him are Myra (who still loves Frenando) and the mysterious Mr. Brown (Leslie Nielsen!), a detective who is obsessed with Frenando and who says that he’ll kill the outlaw as soon as he sees him.

Also accompanying them is a ghostly folksinger played by Janis Ian, of At Seventeen fame.  Ian sings songs that comment upon the story and they’re just as empty-headed and bad as you would expect them to be.  Janis Ian’s presence marks this as being one of the handful of new wave westerns that were released in the wake of Easy Rider, The Wild Bunch, and the films of Sergio Leone.  These westerns attempted to appeal to the counter-culture by sympathizing with the outlaws and featuring crooked lawmen.  The addition of Janis Ian and her songs is Four Rode Out‘s way of saying, “This may be a western but this is a western that gets it.” Instead, it just comes across as artificial and forced.  There’s a lot of room for both moral ambiguity and political subtext in the western genre, which was something that Leone and Sam Peckinpah proved.  There’s less room for a hippie folksinger, as Four Rode Out demonstrates.

Other than Janis Ian’s songs and some dialogue that tries too hard to be profound, Four Rode Out isn’t bad.  Sue Lyon really digs into the role of Myra and even Pernell Roberts gives a good performance.  Of course, if you’re watching this movie in 2020, it’s probably going to be because of Leslie Nielsen.  This movie was made before Nielsen recreated himself as a comedic actor and it’s interesting to see how the same things that made Nielsen so funny — the deadpan delivery, the overly serious facial expressions — also made him a good villain.  For modern audiences, it can be difficult to look at Leslie Nielsen without laughing.  That’s how much we associate him with comedy.  But once you accept the fact that this is Leslie Nielsen playing a bad guy, he’s very convincing in the role.

One final note of interest: Four Rode Out was based on a story idea from the actor Dick Miller.  Yes, that Dick Miller.  Unfortunately, Miller himself is not in the movie.

At Gunpoint (1955, directed by Alfred L. Werker)


When a gang of outlaws attempt to rob a bank in the small frontier town of Plainview, the local sheriff is one of the first people to get gunned down.  It falls upon two local men, George Henderson (Frank Ferguson) and storeowner Jack Wright (Fred MacMurray), to run the outlaws out of town.  While most of the gang escapes, Jack and Henderson manage to kill the gang’s leader, Alvin Dennis.

At first, Jack and Henderson are declared to be heroes and Henderson is appointed sheriff.  However, when Henderson is found murdered, the town realizes that Alvin’s brother, Bob (Skip Homeier), has returned to get revenge.  The inevitable confrontation is delayed by the arrival of a U.S. marshal who stays in town for two weeks to maintain the peace but everyone knows that, once he leaves, Bob is going to be coming after the mild-manned Jack.  The townspeople go from treating Jack like a hero to shunning him.  They even offer Jack and his wife (Dorothy Malone) money to leave town but Jack refuses to give up his store or to surrender to everyone else’s fear.

At Gunpoint is a diverting variation on High Noon, with Fred MacMurray stepping into Gary Cooper’s role as the upstanding man who the town refuses to stand behind.  What sets At Gunpoint apart from High Noon is that, unlike Cooper’s Will Kane, MacMurray’s Jack Wright isn’t even an experienced gunslinger.  Instead, he’s a mild-mannered store owner, the old west’s equivalent of an intellectual, who just managed to get off a lucky shot.  If he can’t find a way to get the cowardly town to back him up, there’s no way that he’s going to be able to defeat Bob and his gang.

At Gunpoint features an excellent cast of Western character actors, including John Qualen, Irving Bacon and Whit Bissell.  Especially good is Walter Brennan, playing one of the only townspeople to have any integrity.  While this western may not have the strong political subtext or the historical significance of High Noon, it’s still a well-made example of the genre.  It’s a western that even people who don’t normally enjoy westerns might like.

Cinemax Friday: Wild Orchid (1989, directed by Zalman King)


Emily (played by blank-faced model Carrie Otis) is a lawyer who can speak French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, and Italian but who has never spoken the language of love.  A high-powered New York firm hires her away from her former employer in Chicago on the requirement that she immediately head down to Rio de Janeiro.  Claudia Dennis (Jacqueline Bisset) is trying to close the deal on buying a luxury hotel and she needs a lawyer now!

Claudia, however, has plans for Emily that go beyond real estate.  As soon as Emily arrives, Claudia arranges for her to go on a date with the wealthy and mysterious James Wheeler (Mikey Rourke).  Wheeler is single but he’s so far refused all of Claudia’s advances.  She wants to know if he’s adverse to all women or just her.  Wheeler is very taken with Emily but he’s been hurt so many times in the past that he can’t stand to be touched.  Instead, he gets his thrills by being a voyeur.

It leads to a trip through Rio, where everyone but Emily is comfortable with their sexuality.  When Wheeler isn’t encouraging her to watch a married couple have sex in the back seat of a limo, Claudia is encouraging Emily to disguise herself as a man and enjoy the nonstop carnival of life in Rio.  There’s a lot of business double-dealing, many shots of Mickey Rourke riding on his motorcycle, and a final sex scene between Rourke and Otis that is one of the most rumored about in history.  For all of the scenes of Wheeler explaining his philosophy of life, Wild Orchid doesn’t add up too much, though it certainly tries to.

Wild Orchid was a mainstay on late night Cinemax through most of the 90s.  This was Carrie Otis’s first film and to say that she gives a bad performance does a disservice to hard-working bad actors everywhere.  There’s bad and then there’s Carrie Otis in Wild Orchid bad.  She walks through the film with the same blank expression her face, playing a genius who can speak several languages but often seeming as if she’s struggling to handle speaking in just one language.  She looks good, though, and all the movie really requires her to do is to look awkward while Rourke and Bisset chew up the scenery.

On the one hand, Wild Orchid is the type of bad movie that squanders the talents of actors like Mickey Rourke, Jacqueline Bisset, and Bruce Greenwod (who has a small role as a sleazy lawyer) but, on the other hand, it’s a Zalman King film so it may be insanely pretentious but it’s also rarely boring.  Visually, King goes all out to portray Rio as being the world’s ultimate erotic city and the dialogue tries so hard to be profound that you’ll have to listen twice just to make sure you heard it correctly.  My favorite line?  “We all have to lose ourselves sometimes to find ourselves, don’t you think?”  Mickey Rourke says that and he delivers it as only he could.

Wild Orchid may have been a box office bust but it was popular on cable and on the rental market, largely because of that final scene between Rourke and Otis.  Mikey Rourke later married Carrie Otis.  Neither returned for Wild Orchid II: Two Shades of Blue.

Terror at Black Falls (1959, directed by Richard C. Sarafian)


When Sheriff Cal (House Peters, Jr.) both fails to prevent the lynching of the son of Juan Avila (Peter Mamakos) and also manages to shoot off Avila’s hand, Avila swears vengeance.  After serving a prison sentence for horse theft, Avila returns to Cal’s hometown.  Avila and his two remaining sons enter the local saloon and take everyone hostage.  They announce that, until Cal comes down to the saloon, they’re going to kill one person every ten minutes.

Cal, who is still haunted by the death of Avila’s son, knows that if he goes to the saloon, he’ll be killed and then there won’t be anyone left to keep Avila from killing everyone in town.  Determined to try to wait Avila out, Cal stays in his office.  Avila, however, keeps his promise and starts to kill the people in the saloon one-by-one.  With everyone in town hiding behind closed doors, Cal’s son, Johnny (Gary Gray), heads down to the saloon to try to take care of things himself.

This low-budget, independent western was made in 1959 but it wasn’t released until 1962.  It was the directorial debut of Richard C. Sarafian, who would go on to direct the cult classic Vanishing Point in 1971.  It’s an attempt to create a thinking man’s western, with Sheriff Cal constantly regretting that Avila was turned into an outlaw by circumstances out ofAvila’s control.  Most of the towns people are portrayed as being just as bad, and in some cases even worse, than Avila.  The first man to die in the saloon, for instance, is a roughneck who angrily objects to a Mexican being allowed to drink indoors.  Though the film’s heroes may be Cal and Johnny, its sympathies are with Juan Avila.

Unfortunately, the message of Terror At Black Falls is often obscured by preachy dialogue and amateurish performances.  Peter Mamakos, especially, overacts to the extent that it’s hard to take him or his character seriously.  Even though it’s barely an hour long, the film is full of slow spots and it’s never a good sign when you need voice-over narration to explain to the audience how they’re supposed to feel about what they’re watching.  The story has potential and Sarafian later developed into a good director but Terror at Black Falls never really comes together.

Five Guns To Tombstone (1960, directed by Edward L. Cahn)


Outlaw Matt Wade (Robert Karnes) escapes from prison and rejoins his old gang.  They ride out to Tombstone, Arizona, stopping off at the ranch of Matt’s brother, Billy Wade (James Brown).  Billy used to be an outlaw but eventually he hung up his guns, settled down, got married, and now he’s raising Matt’s teenage son, Ted (John Wilder).  Ted, who thinks that his father has just been paroled, is excited to see Matt but Billy doesn’t want Ted being led into a life of crime.  When Matt and the gang rob a bank, they frame Billy for the crime.  With the townspeople looking to lynch him and Ted drifting towards the wrong path in life, Billy has no choice but to pretend to be a part of the gang until he can dig up the evidence to clear his name.

If this sounds familiar, thank you for reading yesterday’s review of Gun Belt.  Released seven years after Gun Belt, Five Guns To Tombstone tells the exact same story as Gun Belt and, in many case, it features the exact same dialogue.  The only difference is that some of the names have been slightly changed.  The gang leader in Gun Belt was named Ike Clinton.  In this Five Guns To Tombstone, his name is Ike Garvey.  Billy Ringo becomes Billy Wade and Wyatt Earp because Marshal Sam Jennings.  Otherwise, it’s pretty much the exact same film.

Which one is the better film, Gun Belt or Five Guns To Tombstone?  Both films have plenty of two-fisted, gun-slinging action and a good cast of western character actors but I’d probably have to give the edge to Five Guns To Tombstone because John Wilder is more convincing in the role of the outlaw’s son than Tab Hunter was in Gun Belt.  Tab Hunter was young and callow and annoying but John Wilder is the type of confused kid that anyone could relate to.

Five Guns To Tombstone was one of the 9 films that Edward L. Cahn directed in 1960.  As with most of Cahn’s films, the action seems rushed but that’s appropriate for the story that Five Guns To Tombstone is telling.  (It’s also understandable.  When you’re directing 9 films a year, you don’t have the luxury of taking your time.)  Like Gun Belt, this is hardly a classic but western fans should enjoy it.

Gun Belt (1953, directed by Ray Nazarro)


Outlaw Matt Ringo (John Dehner) escapes from prison and reunites with his old gang.  Riding out to Tombstone, Matt tracks down his son, Chip (Tab Hunter).  Chip is now living with his uncle, Billy Ringo (George Montgomery).  Billy was once a member of Matt’s gang but he’s gone straight, he’s given up his guns, and he now has a ranch of his own.  Billy tries to keep the naive Chip from idolizing his father but Chip is bored with life on the ranch.  Matt not only works to turn Chip against his uncle but he also frames Billy for a bank robbery.  With the town convinced that Billy has returned to his outlaw ways, Billy has no choice but to reach out to the most honest lawman in town, Wyatt Earp (James Millican).

The most interesting thing about this western is the way that it blends real people, like Wyatt and his brother Virgil (Bruce Cowling), with characters who were obviously fictionalized versions of the participants in the gunfight at the OK Corral.  The Ringos are obviously based on Johnny Ringo who, as anyone who has seen Tombstone has seen you, never went straight in real life.  Meanwhile, the head of the gang is named Ike Clinton.  Did someone misspell Ike Clanton’s name while writing the script or was the name really changed for some unknown reason?  Ike Clanton wasn’t around to sue over the way he was portrayed in the movie.

Beyond the mix of a little truth with a lot of fiction, Gun Belt is a traditional western with bad outlaws and upstanding lawmen and a naive cowpoke who has to decide whether he wants to follow the path of good or evil.  George Montgomery has the right presence to be a believable as both a retired outlaw and rancher and James Millican brings quiet authority to the film’s version of Wyatt Earp.  Western fans will be happy to see Jack Elam in the role of one of the gang members.  The only really false note is provided by Tab Hunter, who comes across as very young and very callow and not believable at all as someone who could work on a ranch or successfully pursue a career as a professional lawbreaker.

Seven years after it was released, Gun Belt was remade as Five Guns To Tombstone.

The Films of 2020: Horse Girl (dir by Jeff Baena)


Horse Girl tells the story of a lost woman named Sarah (played, in a bravely committed performance, by Alison Brie).

Sarah is an introvert who works in a craft store, where she can tell the customers exactly the right type of paint to buy and where she’s watched over by her friendly co-worker, Joan (Molly Shannon).  During the day, she occasionally visits the grave of her mother, who committed suicide.  Sometimes, she might have a conversation with her wealthy stepfather (Paul Reiser).  She enjoys going out to the stables and watching a horse named Willow.  When she was a little girl, she rode Willow and she still thinks of him as being her horse.  The owners of the stable, however, are never particularly enthused to see Sarah hanging around.  In one scene, Sarah attempts to give advice to the girl who was just riding Willow, despite the fact that the girl obviously has no idea who Sarah is.  Despite her good intentions, Sarah tends to be so awkward in her attempts to socialize that she just leaves people feeling uncomfortable.

When she’s not at work or at the stables or trying to fit in with the other students at her zumba class, Sarah lives in an apartment with her roommate, Nikki (Debby Ryan).  While Nikki has a boyfriend, Sarah spends most of her nights in her living room, watching a cheesy sci-fi adventure show called Purgatory.  She knows every detail about the show and is always shocked when no one else is as interested in it as she is.

In short, Sarah is a misft but she’s a familiar misfit.  We all probably know someone like Sarah.  At the very least, we all follow someone on twitter who is like Sarah, someone who always seems to be trying to make a connection but who can never quite get comfortable enough to just relax and be herself.

Strange things start to happen to Sarah.  She hears voices in the apartment.  She has dreams in which she’s lying on the floor of what appears to be a spaceship.  Sarah starts to sleepwalk and is soon waking up to find herself in random locations.  When she sees a picture of her grandmother, she wonders if it’s possible that she’s a clone.  Strange scratches start to appear on the walls of her apartment.  Did Sarah put them there or are they result of something coming after her?

Horse Girl is a surprisingly effective film, one that keeps you guessing as to whether or not what we’re seeing is really happening or if it’s all just occurring in Sarah’s head.  Horse Girl was produced by Duplass Brothers Productions and it really does feel like a mumblecore version of Repulsion, with Alison Brie stepping into Catherine Deneuve’s role of the repressed young woman who finds herself a prisoner of her own fears.  Whereas Repulsion featured arms growing out of the walls, Horse Girl features alien abductions and clones.

It’s a film that is sometimes heart-breaking and occasionally darkly funny.  As much as we care and worry about Sarah, the people around her are interesting as well.  The world that Horse Girl creates feels very real and very familiar and even the actors in the smallest roles create an indelible impression.  This is one of those rare movies where it actually seems like the characters in the film all have a life even when they’re not in a scene.  Every performance and every character feels real and authentic.  I particularly liked the performance of Molly Shannon, who brings a very natural and sincere kindness to the role of Sarah’s co-worker.  Playing Sarah’s father and Sarah’s gently humorous doctor, Paul Reiser and David Paymer shine in small roles.

That said, the film works best as a showcase for Alison Brie, who is both sympathetic and, eventually, more than a little frightening in the role of Sarah.  Brie gives such an emotionally vulnerable performance as Sarah that there are times when you really wish that you could step into the film yourself and assure her that everything’s going to be okay.  It’s also a rather brave performance, one that wins our sympathy while also showing why the increasingly manic Sarah might be too much for some people to take.

I have to admit that I wasn’t necessarily expecting much when I started watching a film called Horse Girl but it turned out to be one of my favorite films of 2020 so far.

The Films of 2020: Confessions of a Time Traveler: The Man From 3036 (dir by The Nostradamus Brothers)


The faux documentary Confessions of a Time Traveler opens with a series of news reports about a mysterious man named Sebastian who, upon being arrested for stealing food, claimed to be from the year 3036.  He also explained that he didn’t know what stealing was because, in 3036, no one uses money.  Not surprisingly, this makes national news because — well, it’s not like there’s anything else going on right now that journalist might be reporting on.  I mean, 2020 has been a pretty slow news year, right?

The authorities are perplexed to discover that there are no records of Sebastian’s life.  Up until the moment that he got arrested, he might as well have not even existed.  Sebastian says that’s because he hasn’t even been born yet.  Could he be telling the truth?

Confessions of a Time Traveler purports to be a series of interviews with Sebastian, who wears sun glasses, a mask, and a hoodie.  Sebastian doesn’t seem to be particularly enthused about being stuck in the 21st Century.  In fact, his attitude is rotten.  Well, you know what, buddy?  If you don’t like it here, go back to your own time!  Oh wait, you can’t.  We haven’t invited time travel yet and by the time we do, Sebastian will probably be dead.  Oh well, sucks to be him.

Sebastian talks a little bit about what life is like in the future and guess what?  None of it is good news.  Apparently, we’re all screwed.  Of course, I’m writing this in 2020 so it’s not like I’m going to be around in 3036 so at least I won’t have to deal with all of the radiation that Sebastian says has caused everyone to lose their hair.

Sebastian informs us that World War III will be between the U.S., Russia, the China, and EU.  (Though Sebastian doesn’t confirm it, I bet the EU was the first to surrender.)  He also says that there’s going to be a vaccine war and that billions will die when they refuse to take a vaccine.  People are going to end up living underneath cities, in abandoned tunnel systems.  They’ll be called beneathers and none of them will live past the age of 40.  Personally, if I was known as being a “beneather,” I would probably die of shame too.

One thing I’ve noticed about time travelers is that they never seem to bring good news.  I mean, seriously — how depressing is the future that every time traveler who visits our age just wants to talk about pollution and war all the time?  I think some of it is our fault for enabling them.  Instead of changing the topic by asking something like, “So, what movie won Best Picture in 3035?,” we’re always demanding information about everything that’s gone wrong with the world.  We’re gluttons for bad time travel news.  What I always wonder is how — with the world apparently in such shambles — people managed to discover the secrets of time travel in the first place.  It seems like that would take a lot of effort and some serious concentration.  Could you concentrate while living in a post-apocalyptic hellscape?

As for Confessions of a Time Traveler, it’s a 36-minute short film that comes to us disguised as a documentary.  Personally, I appreciated the efforts to which the film went to appear to be a legitimate documentary.  Much like Orson Welles convincing listeners that the Martians had landed, Confessions of a Time Traveler attempts to convince the gullible that Sebastian actually is from 3036.  I’m sure that there are some people who will watch Confessons and totally miss the fact that it’s not a real documentary and who will think that it’s an actual interview with someone who claims to be from 3036.  Let’s face it, some people are easily fooled and that’s a timeless truth.  Confession of a Time Traveler certainly understands this and it uses our curiosity and anxiety about the future to its own advantage.  After years of hearing about how society’s on the verge of collapsing, there’s something satisfying about watching something like this and discovering that society actually did collapse.  It’s like, “Finally!  We got something right!”

The film ends with the hint of a sequel or, at the very least, an expansion on the original short film.  I imagine that I’d probably watch a follow-up.  I mean, who knows what the future may hold, right?