SFotD: ‘Fifty Pence’ is a Tough Walk Across Paris

Why Watch? Thanks to impeccable sound design, a situation infused with drama and tenderness, and two nuanced performances, this short from Eric Kolelas and Guillaume Miquel is a true standout. In it, a young man (Kolelas) is taking a young woman (Anoushka Ravanshad) to the other side of Paris at the behest of his mob boss. His situation, his family, and the city itself urge him to make a drastic decision.

First of all, this movie is beautiful in an unconventional way — showing Paris neither as the capital of Romance nor as a sleazy bed of dead concrete. It’s just a city here, and it remains beautiful. Part of that is because the verite cinematography and the sound design hold hands the whole way through. There’s a rawness to everything, even when we get a heightened sense of the smallest things. A telephone keypad button being pushed, a footfall on the sidewalk, a door flying open and shut. That naked sensibility is reflected in the performances here as Kolelas and Ravanshad have to achieve a lot with very little dialogue. And while the film doesn’t provide a lot of context, it uses a cinematic language we all already know to fill in the rough edges. In rare form, Fifty Pence uses a light touch to deliver something heavy.

What Will It Cost? About 11 minutes.

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A veteran of writing about movies for nearly a decade, Scott Beggs has been the Managing Editor of Film School Rejects since 2009. Despite speculation, he is not actually Walter Mathau's grandson. See? He can't even spell his name right.

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