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For those who were thoroughly confused after watching Inception, then your mind will be blown away after watching A Moment in Time, written, directed, and produced by George Woodbridge. Woodbridge is a popular Latin teacher at Foran High School in Milford, Connecticut. He was also my Latin teacher for all four years.
Ten minutes before the premiere, the theater was packed as suspense filled the air. Aside from the actors, no one seemed to have a clear grasp as to what the movie was about. At 8 p.m. Woodbridge entered to an overwhelming applause. Before beginning the movie, Woodbridge told us to keep four questions in mind while watching: what’s real, what’s a dream, what’s past, and what’s present. He also told the audience to be mindful of color as opposed to black and white. When he finished addressing the crowd, audience members murmured of “This is like Inception” as the movie began.
A Moment in Time is a murder mystery partly set in 1920s Milford, Conn and partly in contemporary, 21st-century Milford, Conn. There are three villains, playing vital roles. Dr. Sarkopolis is a German doctor obsessed with the Taoist quest for immortality. His countess is Helwig von Wolkenstein, a fabulously wealthy Austrian who contributed to Dr. Sarkopolis’ research in Vienna and fashions herself a cabaret singer. Finally, Hans the Butler was the former first violinist at the Budapest Opera. However, he was forced by circumstances to work as a butler. Now, he lives a strange existence under the psychic influence both Dr. Sarkopolis and Countess Helwig. There are also references from T.S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets,” I Ching Hexagram 64: Wei Chi “Before Completion”, The Secret of the Golden Flower, a Chinese Taoist book about meditation translated by Richard Wilhelm, and finally Martin Heidegger’s ’Sein und Zeit (Being and Time).”
When I asked George what his inspiration was behind this, he simply stated that it came from “classic silent films, Luis Buñuel, Ingmar Bergman, Sir Alfred Hitchcock, and David Lynch.”
He continued to say that he wished to produce a movie “tightly based on my screenplay with the visual and sound special effect I had originally imagined. I feel Wes Sanchez, my cinematographer and editor, did a fantastic job helping me realize my expectations.”
George intended to create a movie that “made people think and question their assumptions about what they saw.” His expectations were met with precision. As the movie ended, the main question on everyone’s mind was: what just happened? One actress said, “I read the script and I still was lost.”
While I watched the movie, I couldn’t help but find some flaws. For instance, in some scenes it was clear that the actors were reading their lines from a piece of paper. Their eyes would shift from paper and back up. Lines should be memorized to keep the flow of the storyline and when it was clear the lines were being read off, the flow was staggered. Also, there were some parts where the actors and actresses’ voices were not loud and clear. In one shot the voice was crystal clear and when the shot changed the voice became quieter then back to loud. Lastly, while Woodbridge had intended on leaving the audience in a state of confusion, I feel he may have overdone it. After leaving the theater, I asked around to see the reactions. While some thoroughly enjoyed it, others could not explain how they felt because they could not understand what had occurred.
Later on, I asked George if he had any intentions of releasing the film on DVD, and as of now, he does not plan to. However, viewers may have another chance of seeing this movie in the fall at Foran High School. When asked if he had any plans to send his movie to any future independent film festivals, he replied “I am going to send it to the Sundance Festival in the fall.”
On the whole, the movie was excellently put together. The actors and actresses had done a magnificent job presenting their roles. The cinematography was also done with precision. The best part was that the actors and actresses clearly enjoyed themselves. If you have a chance to attend the Sundance Festival this fall, keep your eyes open for this film.