7 Splinters in Time (Movie Review)

Imagine arriving on a crime scene to find the victim murdered is in fact yourself. Bizarre, yet compelling, veteran Cinematographer Gabriel Judet-Weinshel took this concept and developed it around the story of his directorial feature film debut, 7 Splinters in Time. Put together on a limited budget, 7 Splinters in Time utilizes its resources efficiently, making for a film that rises above the heap of indie efforts put out daily.

7 Splinters in Time still.

A feature proudly distributed by Gravitas Ventures, 7 Splinters in Time arrives in select theaters in the US market on Friday, July 13, 2018. So, what exactly is it all about? That answer is really not as simple as it seems, because truthfully, it can fall under several different sub-genres. On a broad scale, it is certainly a Science Fiction film – incorporating time travel within the story-line. Then on a more narrow spectrum, it is a Mystery, Thriller, and yes, even a Romantic Drama. Sometimes the downfall of many indie films, wanting to be too many different things at once, fortunately, 7 Splinters in Time does not fall victim to its own ambition. 

The real reason Judet-Weinshel film is a success is the story – it is solid, well-written, and executed in an artistic matter. Non-linear, and sometimes a tad confusing, 7 Splinters in Time does not truly come together until perhaps 45 to 60 minutes later. A daring approach for a film, considering most people have the attention span of a goldfish nowadays, it is important not to give up on 7 Splinters in Time, and to stay focused. Fortunately, there is enough there to keep the average viewer enthralled for the payoff, and yes, the payoff is worth it.

7 Splinters in Time still.

Then there is the burning question once again, what is 7 Splinters in Time all about? Well, in this particular case, the mystery of the film is essential going into a viewing. The more you know, the less exciting it will be. With that, let’s just briefly give some details. The story follows a detective named Darius Lefaux (Edoardo Ballerini: The Sopranos series, Boardwalk Empire series) who is hot on the trail of a man murdered, one who looks exactly like him. Is it him? Is it just a coincidence that the victim bares the same exact face? From here, Darius slowly uncovers there is much more to who and what he is. Is he prepared for the truth? 

While a very vague description, any more would be too much, and probably lessen the effect of the viewing experience. That in mind, 7 Splinters in Time does an excellent job of keeping its focus. As mentioned, it does touch the corners of various different genres, and while centrally in the realm of Sci-Fi, it is much deeper and more emotional. It taps into the idea that our memories often define who we are. Sometime memories are good, and worth replaying in our head. Other times, some memories are too painful to recollect, and are perhaps better off left in the abyss of our mind. Either way, at one point or another, we have all  yearned to change something about the past. Darius Lefaux has the desire to do just that, but like anything, there are consequences. Every action has a reaction, right? 

7 Splinters in Time still.

The bottom line, 7 Splinters in Time is a film that is for the thinking viewer. It is for those willing to let go of control and get lost in a story that will eventually resolve itself, but there needs to be patience. Again, this artsy approach can sometimes be too self-serving to the creator, but 7 Splinters in Time is far from such.

Ballerini does a fantastic job in his character portrayal, as well as acting as one of the film’s main producers. Additionally, Ballerini’s supporting cast is superb. There is Emmanuelle Chriqui (Wrong Turn 2003, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan 2008) portraying the love interest, Alise Spiegelman; Austin Pendleton (Short Circuit 1986, My Cousin Vinny 1992) as the mysterious Fyodor Wax; Al Sapienza (The Sopranos series, House of Cards series), Lefaux’s partner Timms; as well as a master of spoken word, Greg Bennick (Flight from Death: The Quest for Immortality 2003, La Source 2012) as John Luka. 

A talented case matched with a different, clever story, and layered cinematography, 7 Splinters in Time is well worth its weight in gold. That is why CrypticRock give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Gravitas Ventures

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  • Richard Whittaker, in an interesting article about the film’s writer/director Gabriel Judet-Weinshel in the Houston Chronicle , put it best with his opening line:

    “If ‘Primer’ is a master’s thesis in temporal mechanics and determinism, then ‘7 Splinters in Time’ is free jazz.”

    All I can tell people is that I think it’s worth watching. It’s weird, and more than a bit off-putting early on in that the central character is oddly low-affect at the start of the story, but it develops very nicely — though be warned, also quite surrealistically (you’ll either love or hate the hand-cranked flying machine) — and by the end most of what you’ve seen will make sense and the bits that don’t feel acceptable for the kind of movie that it is. (And gods, it’s worth the price of admission just to watch Austin Pendleton’s performance.)

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