SFFILM 60 – Not So Black and White (“Infinity Baby”)

Recently screened at the 60th Annual San Francisco International Film Festival, Bob Byington’s Infinity Baby has all the hallmarks of modern independent film – a quirky concept masking a comment on the modern human condition, crisp (black and white) cinematography, a soundtrack by some hip musician and a cast of indie stalwarts. Combined they make for a film that, at 71 minutes, actually makes you wish it had fleshed out its ideas a bit more.

Set in the not-so-distant future, screenwriter Onur Tukel’s quirky concept at play is that through a stem-cell research project gone bad, there are now about a thousand babies running around being “marketed” by a company (Infinity Baby) that never age and can be fed and be expected to poop just once a week. They never grow up. A ha! The same can be said for the film’s protagonist Ben, an employee of the company and commitment-phobic guy who dates women just long enough to have his mother disapprove of them and then move on. A side plot involves two other employees of the company looking to make a quick buck by keeping one of the babies for a while, but things fall apart pretty quickly.

The film is on “hold review” so a full critique will have to wait, but there’s much to like about this film, beginning with the cast – Kieran Culkin as the man-child, Megan Mullally as his mother, Nick Offerman as the company boss (they’re both Executive Producers on the film,) as well as Martin Starr, Kevin Corrigan and Stephen Root.

The film looks good with cinematography by Matthias Grunsky and some retro-editing by Kris Boustedt. The film sounds good with a soundtrack by Aesop Rock. Director Bob Byington has indicated in some interviews that it might be re-edited, so perhaps its interesting premise will be expanded on in future screenings and before its eventual release.

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