Melancholy second in ‘Armageddon Time’ indicators what’s to return

“In some ways, it’s one of the sadder scenes,” writer-director James Grey says of a heavy sequence between Grandpa Aaron (Anthony Hopkins) and his grandson Paul (Banks Repeta), who’re trying to launch a rocket in a New York Metropolis park. “Armageddon Time” is a private story for Grey, an autobiographical melodrama exploring societal points circa Eighties by the lens of an 11-year-old self. Intimate performances enlarge the heartbreaking narrative, culminating in a melancholy farewell between grandfather and grandson. Layered within the unstated dialogue and visible imagery is the subtext of mortality and the innocence of youth. The body is crammed with low hanging darkish clouds, timber swaying within the wind. Within the distance, decaying constructions trace on the passing of time and the way ephemeral life can appear. “We can tell the grandfather is not going to live very long, and maybe the boy doesn’t understand that, but we do,” Grey says. “It’s the idea that all of us in this world are playing a role and doing the best we can within those limitations. The boy is blind to the loss he will feel, but maybe that’s a good thing because it protects him in that moment. He can feel a genuine glee that the rocket has landed.”