‘Why is physical cash still around?’ is the implied question that Carson Wilds aims to answer in this short commercial centred on a street mugging. Wilds uses humour and irony in attempting to display the inconvenience of hard currency, implying that even a desperate thief doesn’t have the time to wait around for cash.
Coins begins at night with a man walking through an alleyway and stumbling across a coin on the ground. A dishevelled and hooded robber confronts the man, demanding his watch and wallet. Reluctantly, the victim reaches into his pockets grabbing large handfuls of coins, all of which he accidentally spills onto the pavement. He reaches down to retrieve the coins, taking an inordinate amount of time to do so and, by the time he has picked them all up, the thief has gone.
The scene has Wilds focusing on actors Sam Preston and Phil Fitzjohn’s reactions throughout this film in order to highlight humour, placing emphasis on the frustrating experience we all go through whilst waiting for change in transactional situations.
It could be argued, however, that this advertisement sends a confusing message since the length of time it took to receive the cash is what scared the thief off, whereas in reality this would be the ideal situation (since it would suggest the victim has a lot of money). Had the victim simply handed over a debit card, secure technologies would allow him to cancel his card in minutes. Although it can be understood that the goal of the advert is to create humour in the idea that even a thief wouldn’t wait for cash, the multiple conclusions the audience are able come to is not ideal for an advertisement with such a clear agenda.
Ultimately, Wilds has crafted this film well and with a funny premise, and the short film is only slightly let down by a faltering logic that leads the film to be interpreted and pulled apart in multiple ways by the more discerning viewer.
Masaya Matsui is back with the next instalment in his Wear Your Emotions series for the French fashion brand Alex Rotin, this time focusing on ‘delight’. Set in a tunnel, presumably in a train station, actor Cécile Laforest (wearing a stylish, knitted jumper dress and knee-high boots) joyfully twirls an umbrella in between two moving walkways, directly contrasting the workaday, rush hour setting.
Surprisingly, Matsui uses the same music as his Anger commercial, but still manages to make it work, the song’s light and playful tones coupled with Laforest’s energetic movement and exuberant smile adding a certain irony to the previous instalment. With Delight and Anger, certain thematic patterns begin to emerge, particularly the repetition of music and the employment of contrast, both visual and conceptual.
Fast-paced editing is implemented effectively, with the film starting with a wide shot that exponentially cuts to closer shots of Laforest until we get a close up of her face, her smile increasing in correlation. We then focus in on her transparent umbrella, which could be symbolic of her transparent emotions that directly contrast a weather normally associated with misery. It is very curious that Matsui decides to use an umbrella as well, since the location is inside.
After skipping, jumping and laughing through the tunnel, Laforest’s smile disappears as she walks away into the crowd with her umbrella closed; the umbrella, again, symbolic of her emotions.
With Wear Your Emotions: Delight, Matsui wants the audience to infer that what you wear affects your mood, and does so with successful simplicity.
'Coins' and 'Wear Your Emotions: Delight' were films in consideration for Short Focus Film Festival 2018.