Why Watch? This short film from James Cooper features a Don Draper-esque stranger who welcomes a journalist into his hotel room for an interview, only the mysterious man isn’t from the 1960s — he’s from the future. Far into it, in fact, and he has a lesson for our time. Cue chants of “Klaatu Barada Nikto.”
It’s impossible to miss the touches of Interview with the Vampire in Interview with a Time Traveler, particularly the notably serious tone drafted onto a sci-fi concept that can often be fairly silly. This is a trope imbued with mortal danger.
What works best about this short is the appearance of low stakes that feel incredibly high. This is a conversation capped with a question that the journalist either has to accept or reject, and while it affects him greatly (and while the language is all severe), it’s difficult to fully imagine the larger implications beyond this one moment in an anonymous hotel room.
The dialogue is overblown in parts (I never trust people who speak in quotations), but it’s shot with intensity (particularly in a small space), and the overall steel-cold tone is affecting in portraying temporal jumping as something sinister and volatile.