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Yesterday Was a Lie
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Yesterday Was a Lie More at IMDbPro »

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11 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

I'm a Jungian, not a Fortuneteller

Author: tedg (tedg@filmsfolded.com) from Virginia Beach
4 May 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I saw this together with "Conversation(s) with other women." Both try something ambitious with narrative structure, extending notions I call folding.

Here we have something that starts with noir — and by that I mean noir in the popular sense: black and white photography, a hard-boiled detective, some voice-over and seedy settings. These are only accidentally associated with noir in my mind; the real core of noir is the creation of a world that has features we as viewers expect and to some extent control. This filmmaker understands this, so has used noir for his narrative experiment.

The experiment revolves around a science fiction device: a notebook with some secrets of Quantum Interaction. The backstory has experiments that use repetitive number patterns to allow a researcher to start to bend time. Two lovers have faded in their love. She is a detective put on a case that leads them to this notebook. He engages in the experiment to recapture their love at the cost of his soul.

The story is told from her POV, which involves non-linearity in three respects: what we see and understand, what she sees and understands, what is understandable (in the sense of the physics changing). This last is to the heart of noir, where the act of seeing changes the cosmos.

Her cat is named Schrödinger. She has a doppelganger (her sexy female anima), played by a woman who dominates: she is a muse/teacher. She literally is the producer of the film, and she provides some competent moody songs. All of the actors are people we should know from various, mostly bad TeeVee, science fiction. It is all rather brilliant in the way it is conceived and worth seeing because of the ambition.

The problems are many though. The actual narrative, those threads you weave out of the fragments you are given? It just is poorly done. This needs more power in the actors, the lines and the cinema. It references urges that can bend the world. Polanski does this and delivers. "Ninth Gate." There is no there here. You may not notice this because it is easy enough to supply that romantic urge: we all have it and have nurtured it in our movie experiences. We carry it into this project and can plug in, indirectly increasing the narrative effect.

So that is not a lethal problem. The other problem may not bother you, but it worries me greatly.

This experiment relies on some detailed explanations of the "science" involved. As with many popular-level notions, we have selections from the most accessible and attractive features of Jungian cosmology mixed in with common misconceptions of quantum physics. It plays the same role in this story that mentioning a recent meteorite has in zombie movies. You nod, agree that the explanation is plausible and move on to consume the narrative.

The problem is both Jung and QI have possibilities that are much more powerful than those appropriated here. You can't start fire with water just because on screen it looks like gasoline. And you don't need all that folderol (good word) anyway. "Conversation(s) with other women" does much the same thing as here, but without the guff.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Interesting but fell short of potential

4/10
Author: John Michaels from Oregon
19 May 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I had been waiting for quite a while for Yesterday was a lie. Modern noir is rare and I hadn't seen anything of note since 2005's Brick. Despite going into the film with high hopes, Yesterday was a lie fell short of it's mark. Their seemed to be such an heavy emphasis on the stylistic elements of the classic noir film that it over did it. From the swanky Jazz to the high-contrast black and white, it all was just too much. This over-the-top noir style seemed to ease by about the halfway point of the film which helped. The character Hoyle, with her hair flowing out from under her Fadora wasn't believable. Hoyle along with the singer, played excellently by Chase Masterson, were easily confused since both were so close in appearance. Since this was a movie about moving backwards and forwards through time, one was left wondering if Hoyle and the Singer were meant to be the same person. Also, noir works when we see that point when the main character either makes a bad decision of has one thrust upon them. That is the turning point of a great story. This story didn't seem to have that. If it did, it was lost, relying on sexy women and dress to carry the day. Also this film missed the mark in great dialog. One usually hopes for those great comeback lines and expressions (that we all wished we had said) to carry these films. All and all the acting was fine but this film failed in the directing and editing. It was fun to see the effort but this fell short of it's mark.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

To much science and not enough fiction

5/10
Author: msgrim-40175 from United States
22 May 2015

This film falls short to deliver a Twilight Zoneesque feel. Unless you're a Jungian or are familiar with Fred Hoyle and anything psychological or science for that matter, then this film will pass over your head. Love the noir atmosphere but the characters aren't believable in telling a noir style story. Chase Masterson is incredibly talented and gorgeous,and makes an attempt to be Virgil and walk Kipleigh Brown through a scientific Dante's Inferno. If this film were a student project for an astrophysics class, then it would have succeeded. Unfortunately it was presented as an actual film at Cannes. As a lover of science fiction, especially Twilight Zone and Star Trek I delve into this film expecting for a great deal of human factor drama and a blend of 1950's murder mystery and suspense. Instead I received a puzzle with pieces that are missing. If you watch this film research Fred Hoyle or read October First Is Too Late or keep the Sixth Sense and Dante's Inferno in mind.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Though the camera work was great...

Author: Nick Damian from Toronto, Ontario
20 October 2011

the plot seemed to be a mess.

Somewhere the story was lost - and the movie relied solely on trying to be a film-noir 0 which it couldn't and trying to rely on it's characters or actors to bring out the interest - which it lacks.

The two female leads didn't initiate any real chemistry and if it was to be a lesbian love story, there was none.

While the singer looked great and performed great on-stage - the rest of her presence didn't offer anything.

The other characters pop in and out for no reason that is memorable.

In fact the entire story is far from memorable.

The only thing that I did like was the lighting and camera work and music.

Plot, acting and story failed for trying to be too much and offering too little.

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15 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

Fenestra Aeternitatus

Author: LawrenceCronin from United States
26 April 2010

A love story for cerebral cineastes. A delight to watch after dinner with a philosophy professor friend and three glasses of wine, and it belongs right up there with your volumes of Wittgenstein. Upon more sober viewing, my analytic mind felt challenged. Actually, this reflects the film's purposeful plotting. Being a psychiatrist, let's see what I can offer.

The film exemplifies Godard's maxim that all it takes to make a movie is a girl and a gun. In this case the lead female characters are two lovely blondes. Each so cleverly resembles the other that one is reminded of Discreet Object of Desire, the surrealist flick where two actresses played one character.

But adding layers of complexity here, these twin-like actresses are also playing the left and right sides of the brain of the feminine anima of one male character. Got that? They all meet at the Pigeon Hole lounge. The first character is the young Hoyle, a feminine Bogart/Sam Spade analytic detective - the left brain. Like Sam she likes the gin and the story straight. The second is a sultry, un-named singer who has a familiarity with the poetics of T.S. Eliot - the brain's right. Her music is entrancing, her wit intuitive and nonlinear. Together, these two provide the counterpoint of Jung's anima to the male animus of the main character, Dudas.

Whether Hoyle and her counterpart, Singer, convince us they are our anima is irrelevant as we so want them to be part of us. These lovelies draw us ever so seductively into imagining the dark recesses of our own beautiful unconscious, despite whatever misgivings. All we're here for is love, we are told. The shape of the universe is a relationship - functional or otherwise - whether with our inner parts or with our fellow beings. This makes for a strange little Jungian romp in luscious b&w footage. This is Lynch with an underlying premise. Somewhat like the film Pi, this low budget beauty was made at the cost of Pi (made at $60,000) times pi!

First time director James Kerwin makes for a Jungian fortune teller taking us on a trip to disentangle or re-entangle our male and female halves. Kerwin is an urban shaman who shows us the conventional mind as a "surge suppressor". Our conscious minds filter small broken bits of time in a lame attempt to tell a story. Does it matter whether they "add up"?

Beginning with some obvious allegory, the locks are broken off the allegorical unconscious and our character, curiously named Hoyle bravely walks into a poetic film noir journey to confront the Self. (Hoyle seems named after transcendental astronomer/physicist Fred Hoyle who was deeply intrigued by the "Anthropic Principle" of nature.) We begin with a look at Dali's surrealist masterpiece Persistence of Memory in a hallway. They meet Schrödinger's cat, the parable of which tells us there are opposite angles on everything and only by choosing do we arrives at any definitive perspective. Free Will is discussed. The film reveals a Jungian Fenestra Aeternitatus, a window to the eternal, that our characters need to navigate.

A variety of other cutting edge consciousness theories are peppered throughout the film to spice the intellectual interest of the knowledgeable viewer, including pondering Planck's constant, a number describing the fundamental vibration at the Ground of Being. For those less informed, the film literally goes back to the psychiatrist to explain itself. Jung, we are told, said a man needs to project his animus onto the feminine anima in order to unlock the secrets of the universe. This is a film for men who are in need of seeing themselves and for women who want a deeper look into those men. What does a man see in himself as a woman?

Hoyle goes into a dream within a dream (hasn't everyone had at least one of these?) to contact her animus, Dudas, who has a notebook of important thoughts or ideas. Meanwhile we are constantly asked, what if our theories, concepts of self, and common sense don't add up? And what does that tell us about our relationships? And what is the nature and consequence of the loss of "relationship"? The right-sided feminine asks the questions. Left-sided Hoyle tries to read the tea leaves, the pattern in the chaos. Hoyle and her doppelganger meet another aspect of their animus, a scientist who explains the nature of time and who feels these two sexy blondes are "better" and "better". They are also the choices that interface with reality. They will help us overcome our own guilt about our very existence and the broken promises to ourselves and to others.

A deep understanding of time is seen in this film's Feynman diagram writ large in cinema. Physicist Feynman showed everything else might be one mind/particle bouncing backwards and forwards in time, appearing as each and all of us trying to make contact with every part of experience over eternity, the very fabric of time. This reach for the eternal is countered by the Shadow, the dark side, who delivers a bit of lead poisoning in the form of bullets. Death's shadow is a terrifying/exhilarating lockdown on the many-sided reality of now, it haunts our Selves. It occurs when we bring our stories to a halt. We need to let go of our life-text and grab onto our fuller selves, leaving our memories to be what they are and move on to script ourselves anew.

This film is an ultimate romance with "The Other", a mix of the cosmos and the chaos, the order and the disorder, the male and the female. In this cocktail lounge of our emotions, letting go of our primordial selfishness lets our unconscious sing its own songs, reconciling the Self to itself. And pay attention to terrific music in here. Chase Masterson sings beautifully the lounge songs of our longing.

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Detective lost in the fabric of space-time-unconscious loses us

5/10
Author: msroz from United States
14 July 2016

A movie like this, an independent shoestring budget effort that required a lot of creative effort from those involved, maybe should be left to its creator or creators to evaluate. They should decide what to do next to express themselves in film after having experienced this project. A lot was done and done well with lighting and minimal sets to create a noir atmosphere. It seemed at times to bring back memories of how early TV shows had to operate, but with today's technical equipment so much more can be done to make a film look smooth and professional, and this one shows it.

The story and script are where this film falters at its heart. Add to that the inexperience and/or inability of the lead actress (Kipleigh Brown) to invest her character and part with meaning and you have a film that's quite painful to watch. Her costuming didn't work at all either. Neo-noir is not enough; ersatz noir won't do either. Various theories are not enough. Obscurity is all right if it serves a decent story and doesn't have us constantly asking why each and every character is doing what they're doing when they do it. There has to be some sense to it all.

Chase Masterson comes off better and she sings a nice standard at the beginning, at a very slow tempo that's tough to handle. But she too has problems with those lines handed to her.

Nice try, but no medal. Mr. Kerwin won some awards for this movie. You decide.

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An amateurish pseudo-intellectual garbage

1/10
Author: sashairk from United States
7 September 2015

Oh boy, oh boy! I should have been more careful when choosing what movie to watch. Truth to be said, I 'fell' for some excellent reviews of this film, and only 'post-factum' while trying to understand why I disliked it so much I discovered that all the people who on the Message Board who wrote rapturous messages of how great that film was wrote only one post each throughout all their membership 'carrier' at the IMDb and, besides, there's a suspiciously large amount of '10' votes which is very rare even for Oscar-awarded masterpieces that even though usually have the majority of good votes spread in the 8 to 10 range, but almost never only '10s'. Which inevitably lead me to the conclusion that most of the good votes for that film were fake.

I believe that any film-maker should have enough self-respect rather than ask from his friends, colleagues, etc. and even voting by himself under different user names for the movie that he himself considers to be bad, otherwise, why should he bother to making such charade?

Me and my wife were expecting some 'brainy' movie with interesting ideas, since we both love science fiction and interesting non- standard approach. That's why we also love David Lynch. It seems to me that the film maker tried to emulate David Lynch, but failed miserably, since despite good camera work the script was pretty amateurish and convoluted. Even two attractive lead actresses could not save the film, even though, as some consolation for the wasted time, it was pleasant to watch them. Some of the background music was clearly 'borrowed' from Pink Floyd's Shine on You Crazy Diamond.

This being said, I want to wish James Kerwin success in his future endeavors. He haven't done any serious work so far so any beginning is not easy. Along with that I have just one request: please, no more fake reviews, OK? Have some self-respect, man!

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Unique, fascinating neo-noir sci-fi

9/10
Author: stephander from United States
4 October 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

To describe a film that is different from anything you've seen is difficult. Its style is seriously, consummately neo-noir, the subject matter seems to be that of the hard-boiled detective genre, but as the plot unfolds we realize that we are seeing speculative science fiction. The heroine, Hoyle, seems to be a private detective, a female incarnation of Philip Marlowe perhaps, and she is searching for both a man, who turns out to be her ex-boyfriend, and for a notebook containing metaphysical research by Nazi-era German scientists. Throughout her investigations she repeatedly encounters a haunting, doppelganger-like woman who first appears as a sultry nightclub singer, but turns out to be much more. To add to her confusion, Hoyle seems to be experiencing her life in disjointed pieces that are out of sequence and someone, perhaps herself, is trying to contact her from another time.

Definitely not for the popular audience (if the first ten minutes don't grab you, this one isn't for you), Yesterday Was A Lie will appeal to those who are drawn to the off-beat, experimental auteur film, Gothic science fiction and/or neo-noir film making. The digital black-and-white does not really replicate the lush style of the 1940's, but instead creates it own atmosphere, its own intriguing and stylish world of fog-enshrouded half light. Every segment of the film is crafted with great care and photographed with great artistry; the writer-director James Kerwin has really created something quite wonderful. The stars, Kipleigh Brown as Hoye and Chase Masterson, who produced the film, bring it compellingly to life. (They are also two alluring gals.) Redolent of the original Outer Limits, the darkest of '40's film noirs, Humphrey Bogart, and a bit of Sapphire and Steel, it nevertheless stakes out its own unique territory. If you're not turned off by references to Jungian psychology, Dali surrealism, the poetry of T.S. Eliot, and speculations on alternative realities and the nature of time, let this film lead you into its dream world, but be warned, you will need to, and want to see this film several times.

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15 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Do not miss it if it comes to a Festival/Con near you!

9/10
Author: geekking from United States
12 May 2008

This is not a movie to miss if you hear of it coming to a convention or festival near you. See it for free before you have to pay for it! There are many types of film fanatics that should love this movie. It can be compared to so many different types of films and film makers. All Sci-Fi fans should like the film because of the alternate realities/parallel universe themes. You will also notice the film takes on a very non-linear plot. For some, this is confusing. However, it only adds to the delight of watching this film. This non-linear film making reminds me of films by Quentin Tarantino. This film could certainly be one that can viewed multiple times and enjoyed over and over.

This film was originally shot in color and then desaturated in post production. The black and white or "noir" aspect of the film adds its own personality. Color would not have worked for this film because it has a 1940-1950's "Bogart" theme to it. You see Hoyle play the part of the investigator playing the part of the crime detective so well. She plays it as a female; which no doubt, offers a refreshing way to see a detective role played.

The convention I attended was the first Con for me. When I saw the Films listed I read more about this film and it looked very interesting. It met and beat all my expectations. I had the chance to meet Chase Masterson playing the Singer and Director James Kerwin. There was a great panel on the film and many questions were answered. Take a look at the cast and you will notice some familiar faces in the Sci-Fi family.

If I could only see this film in the area again or buy a DVD I would! See it for free while you can!

Have an open mind and see it at a convention or festival now!

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4 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Move along, there's nothing to see here

3/10
Author: MadMax-47 from Virginia
6 August 2011

I had very low hopes for this movie, and it managed to fall below even those.

Short form, if you've seen other films noir, you've seen this one, except done better. If you've seen a lot of film noir, you've seen everything in this one, because it seems to be little more than a visual mash-up of what's been done before.

That in itself is bad enough, but the acting and the writing are atrocious. If you saw Super 8, at the end of the film you get the see the project film that all the kids are working on throughout the movie. "Yesterday was a Lie" is very slightly better than that. Given that the writer is also the director, and based on the fact that every performance is flat and fails to engage, I think the direction must also be at fault.

There is philosophy to be found here. I would urge you to read up on mysticism and physics (particularly quantum mechanics) instead of spending your time on this movie. You'll learn a lot more, and in the end you will have spent your time more wisely.

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