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By Steve Anderson | January 6, 2008

Note to filmmakers–if you’re going to make a short film, make it at
least long enough that people understand what it is you’re trying to

Karen Neilsen’s “Infinite Moments” hasn’t grasped this simple lesson.

There’s one of several possible plotlines for this, depending on how
you look at it–either a woman who’s taking self-defense classes is
attacked in the classroom by a possible rapist, or she was previously attacked in the classroom where she’s now taking lessons. Actually, there are still more possibilities available–maybe she’s taking lessons to prevent the attack she’s seeing in her mind or maybe she’s being attacked and wishing she were studying self-defense. I don’t know, and Neilsen’s shoddy narrative makes it completely inconclusive.

The reason it’s inconclusive is because Neilsen has actually
interspersed the two plot elements together–the attack and the
training–making it impossible to tell which segment is flashback and which segment is current narrative. There’s also barely a speck of dialogue, so you can forget about the characters giving any kind of exposition. I don’t even know what the woman’s name is, let alone why she’s being attacked by some guy in a ski mask.

But then, Neilsen’s three minutes of film runtime doesn’t leave a
whole lot of room for things like plot, or character development, or
introductions, or even a reason why we should even vaguely care about this. Maybe this woman’s being attacked by a guy about to kill her because one night she ate his children in front of him and he’s simulating a rape attempt to make things more terrifying! Maybe she killed some guy’s mother and he HIRED a guy to go kill her who figured he’d get a little bonus! I don’t know!

And the problem is, neither will you. Only Neilsen knows why these
characters are out doing what they’re doing, and that’s not
filmmaking. That’s a waste of time.

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