Friday, July 5, 2019

'Timeless' is a sweet modern-day silent film

Timeless (2013)
Starring: Joel Feitler and Candice Dayton
Director:  Micah Mahaffey
Rating: Seven of Ten Stars

A young genius (Feitler) builds a time machine in order to prevent the death of his wife (Dayton).

"Timeless" is a silent short film that isn't a century or so old; as of this writing, it's not even a decade since it was made. Micah Mahaffey wrote and directed a small number of silent short films back in the early 2010s, and if any of the others are as good as this one, I'll probably write about and embed them in this space.

The most impressive thing about this film is that Mahaffey tells a complete story in under three minutes. I have watched a lot of short films over the past few years, and more often than not, filmmakers present vignettes rather than giving us something with a beginning, middle, and end. Here, we are treated to all the niceties you'd expect from a well-crated tale--including a denoument!

I was also impressed by the fact that Mahafferey clearly understood the limitations of his budget and resources, and he worked within them to pull off some nice special effects. He could have easily overreached and given us something that looked cheesy. Instead, he gave us something that looked just right.

The only negative points I can raise about the film is that I didn't quite buy the notion that the grieving widower seemed too young to build a time machine--it seemed like something that would have taken him a decade or more (at least), not just three years. Another thing I didn't quite like was the organ music score. It wasn't that the music was bad... it was that it was an organ. (I think I understand the reasons for both of these negatives. The first goes back to Mahaffey working with the resources he had available, and as a young filmmaker, it's natural he would a young cast to draw on so the time machine had to be invented within a short timespan. As for the second... well, it is a silent movie, so why use organ music? However, I think this story would have  been better served by a grand piano.)

I recommend taking a few minutes to check out "Timeless" for yourself. I hope you like it as much as I did.

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