Godfrey Reggio's ONCE WITHIN A TIME should, if at all, possible be seen on a big screen. The film is nominally the first narrative from Reggio, but truth is this is more cinematic tone poem than straight on narrative. That’s fine since this is a film where you simply want to get lost in the sound and images.
The plot, such as it is, concerns a couple of kids who get tossed from the Garden of Eden and then have to to find their way home. Along the way they see some amazing things and meet some intriguing people (including Mike Tyson)
More waking dream than typical narrative this is sound and fury signifying something. I’m not going to speculate on what your takeaway will be; there is simply too much here for me to suggest that I know what it’s all about.
What I find interesting is that even with the eyepopping visuals the film started life as a series of short films designed for a cellphone. I can’t imagine seeing this on a cellphone since the film is so spectacular (and it’s playing in 70mm in some screenings.)
Running a brief 51 minutes this is a film that may only end up playing in art houses and museums, but that’s okay since those are the places that are going to screen the film for maximum effect.
If you like cinematic treats run this film down, it will delight you in the most magical of ways.