LOS ANGELES — If it seems like Mark Duplass is everywhere these days, it's probably because he is. And he doesn't even need a time machine to accomplish this feat.
This week, he stars in "Safety Not Guaranteed" as a loner who takes out a mysterious classified ad seeking a partner to travel with him back in time. Next week, he stars in "Your Sister's Sister" as a guy who gets emotionally entangled with his best friend (Emily Blunt) and her lesbian sister (Rosemarie DeWitt) at a remote lake house. Behind the camera, Duplass and his brother, Jay, recently wrote and directed the comedy "Jeff, Who Lives at Home" and next month they have "The Do-Deca-Pentathlon." And of course, he's also part of the talented ensemble cast of the FX fantasy football comedy series "The League," a fourth season of which is set to begin in the fall.
So, yeah, he's a busy guy. But he was nice enough to take a few moments to select five of his favorite time-travel movies. Here they are, in no particular order, in his own words:
"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" (2004): This is one of my favorite films of all time. I call it "lo-fi sci-fi" 'cos it's really more about the relationships than the science fiction elements themselves. In a lot of ways, "Safety Not Guaranteed" feels like this film ... i.e., science fiction as a prism to observe matters of the heart in a funny, human way.
"Somewhere in Time" (1980): Yes. It's SUPER melodramatic. Cheezy. Over the top. But, watch this movie when you are sick or feeling a little vulnerable, and you will cry your eyes out. Guaranteed. A man time travels out of sheer force of will and, well, love. And, the score ... good God.
"Timecrimes" (2008): You gotta see this little Spanish gem from Nacho Vigalondo. It was at Sundance the year I had "Baghead" there. A man travels back in time ... but only about an hour. Really fun. And a little scary.
"Primer" (2004): This may be the cheapest science fiction time-travel film ever made. Shot for a reported $7,000, this intensely creative mood piece won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2004. Very smart use of a plain old garage and average storage space.
"Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" (1989): The ultimate! How can you go wrong when the time machine is a phone booth and George Carlin is your mentor? See Keanu Reeves play the role he was born to play. This movie is a (expletive) blast.