WHO: Jim Cummings and Rae Gray
WHAT: Short film The Robbery
WHY WE CARE: Director Jim Cummings is developing something of a calling card with his single-take short films. Last year, he starred in and directed Thunder Road, which took home the short film grand jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival. And this year Cummings returned to Sundance with The Robbery, undoubtedly his best work to date.
In what’s essentially the most piteous attempt at holding up a liquor store, The Robbery utilizes a single shot as a vehicle to mount the tension of a standoff between the store owner and lead actress Rae Gray. But what’s most impressive with Cummings’s approach to The Robbery with a single take are the gradients of emotions that Gray is allowed to showcase. In just one shot, she effortlessly weaves in and out of stoned serenity, fear, shock, and ultimately heartbreak.