Shortcake #8 – “Run” and “A Handful of Pennies”

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy… That’s pretty much been the theme of my week and maybe that’s why the theme of tonight’s Shortcake is rather grim. I decided to highlight two short films today, both of which are of the shocking kind. Because of their nature I don’t think I should go into details of their respective stories – I simply think that the shock and surprise factors are most important for films like that.


The first short of the day is called “Run”. It’s a compact 7-minute long story of Sam – an American by accent – who travels through Europe like young Americans do, and writes a letter to his mother from the road. I can’t say more than that, but I wanted to say that this short film really messed with my brain. Since, I believe, that was the premise of “Run” – to make you feel uneasy and disturbed – I want to congratulate Mat Johns on a job well done. He single-handedly directed, shot and edited the entirety of this film, which might be what is responsible for the very personal and discomforting feel “Run” imposes on a viewer. In short, this film is a bite-sized piece of Park Chan-Wook-approved painful cinema.


The remaining entry in today’s Shortcake is going to be “A handful of pennies” directed by a duo of E.E. Charlton-Trujillo and Josh Flowers, and written by Michael Peake. Briefly speaking, this film is just a conversation. A conversation between a hunter and prey, wherein one party is determined to do whatever it takes to break the other party’s spirit. I’d say, in contrast to “Run” – even though they are both shocking and violent – “A handful of pennies” reminds me more of a sequence from a full-feature movie that has never been made. We don’t know where the characters come from… We don’t know who they are. The only thing we know is the reason for them sitting at the same table. As the story unfolds, the viewer is left in yearning for more. I would like to see how the characters resolved their issue and maybe that’s why this film does its job, because the remainder of the story can be written by your own imagination… whatever way you shall please…

That sums up this week’s instalment of Shortcake. You’ve got two films that revel in the shock and violence, but each of them holds their ground on its own. “Run” is more of a fleeting novella about keeping up appearances that quickly spins out into horror, whereas “A handful of pennies” is story of a psychotic guy who doesn’t like being played by anyone and has a weird personal relationship with Dr Pepper. Enjoy!


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