Notes on Short Film

Lengthy diatribe on brief cinematic experience.

Rundown (2006)

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Florida State University student Patrick Alexander’s 15-minute Gold Medal Student Award-winning film relies heavily on dramatic tension and skillful acting. The production itself is simple – few sets, only one main character, and tight cinematography keep the audience focused on the face of the actress portraying Rachel Davenport, Alison Gallagher. We see doubt, suspicion, fear, relief, and regret in her close-ups, often all at the same time. The performance embodies the newsroom standard of the “talking head” news anchor, though the character says nothing except what she reads on the teleprompter in front of her, with a practiced smile on her face. Rachel feels the most fear when she studies the faces of the crew members watching her, unsure of the truth behind their faces. It’s clear that the idea of appearances at odds with the truth is one of the central themes of the narrative.

The other standout aspect of this film is the score. Composed by Gregory Tripi, who also created the music for The Grudge 2 (2006), Drag Me To Hell (2009), and this year’s The Lincoln Lawyer, it combines the usual newscast melody with more tension to create the soundtrack of a thriller. The music definitely enhanced the experience of the film for me.

While there isn’t much in the way of analysis online, there is FSU’s own write-up on the film, including an interview with the filmmaker.


Written by Alisa Hathaway

March 25, 2011 at 5:59 pm

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