Writer and director Alice Lowe had an idea – and she was willing to chase that idea through time and space in order to get it right. It seems the seed of Lowe’s film Timestalker began some time ago and after years of wrestling for funding and filming she finally brought this labor of love to fruition – but does it love her back? In the end, its hard to say if our relationships with the ideas that drive us are ever truly fulfilling. There’s always something left unsaid, something not said quite right – oh but what a glorious experience it is to fall in love with them!

This is the heart of Timestalker, a delightfully inventive if often uneven sci-fi comedy that follows a woman beginning to become aware of her various incarnations throughout the ages as she falls helplessly in love with the same man over and over and over again, despite his increasingly irritated indifference. Each time she thinks she’s getting closer to winning his heart, however, mortality comes knocking in often gruesome and ridiculous ways. This pattern – live, love, and die unfulfilled – represents the artistic pursuit, according to the director after the premier. As such, it’s a powerful metaphor even if, like love itself, can often leave much to be desired.

Through the muck of the early modern period, the filthy rich aesthetic of Victorian age, the dayglo sheen 80s, and neon grime of some unknown future the movie shines in its ability to paint each period richly within its budget and limited sets. Lowe is often a comedic force of nature, imbuing her characters with a heartbreaking pathos matched by their love struck absurdity. The other characters, however, including a criminally underused and oddly off-putting Nick Frost, don’t feel nearly as fleshed out. But maybe that’s the point? After all, what artist can ever get out of their own way to let the idea truly stand on its own without their lustful obsession overshadowing its supposed true potential.