Fantasia 2023: Our Review of ‘Aporia’

Posted in Fantasia 2023, Festival Coverage, Movies by - August 01, 2023
Fantasia 2023: Our Review of ‘Aporia’

There’s an old adage about why John Ford didn’t have the Indigenous people shoot the horses in Stagecoach. It which ends with a punchline: because then the movie would have been over. I like to utilize this whenever there are decisions in films that seem slightly circumspect when viewed by someone sitting comfortably in a cool, dark theatre munching on popcorn. Occasionally, there are leaps of logic that you should probably not think about.

Jared Moshe’s Aporia is a film which dutifully adheres to the rules of its time-travel narrative. Yet it is also a film which features a considerable number of those “because then the movie would be over” moments. Judy Greer is phenomenal as Sophie However, there are number of decisions that she, husband Malcolm (Edi Gathegi) and friend Jabir (Payman Maadi) make that seem somewhat bereft of logic. Jabir and Malcolm have invented a time machine that isn’t exactly a time machine. It can reach into the past and kill a person, excising the damage that may have been done. Unfortunately, it also strips the users of their memories. This presents a fascinating dilemma: how does changing the past change you?

Thus, Aporia works best as a text about the importance of recognizing that where we are is largely a by-product of where we’ve been. I adore this theme in all of its permutations. It’s a text that centers around the idea that grief cannot be transferred, that it ultimately must be felt and experienced. When the text is purely visual it works wonders. Moshe effectively utilizes a variety of visual matches and techniques to cue the audience into various shifts and changes. But when the text speaks, it’s occasionally difficult to push aside that old adage. Keep repeating it, and you’ll probably really dig this.

This post was written by
Thomas Wishloff is currently an MA student at York University. He is new to the Toronto Film Scene, but has periodically written and podcasted for several now defunct ventures, and has probably commented on a forum with you at some point. The ex-Edmontonian has been known to enjoy a good board game, and claims to know the secret to the best popcorn in the world.
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