Jim Cummings Continues His Reign as King of the Short Film with ‘The Robbery’

By  · Published on March 10th, 2017

Short of the Day

The director of ‘Thunder Road’ has done it again. Again.

It’s no secret that we here at Film School Rejects’ Short of the Day column – which is basically just me – are big, giant, tremendous fans of filmmaker Jim Cummings, and it should be no surprise that we feel this way. As a storyteller he has a particular knack for blending the tragic with the hilarious, and as a filmmaker he has a way of realizing his stories with a balance of heartbreaking verisimilitude and captivating absurdity. Already we’ve featured two of his films here, the award-winning Thunder Road and Us Funny, which he co-directed and starred in with Julia Bales, and when I went to this morning and saw he had a new flick out, I knew he was about to become the first filmmaker in the history of this column to pull a hat-trick.

The new film is called Robbery, and once again Cummings has directed and co-written (with Dustin Hahn), but this time he stays behind the camera, letting the capable acting skills of Rae Gray propel the narrative. Gray stars as Crystal, a would-be convenience store robber who runs into some trouble along the way. Like Thunder Road, Cummings has once employed a single-take strategy, the story is laced with really dark, really uncomfortable humor, and the resulting film is so fucking entertaining you’ll wish it was 90 minutes longer, at least. Gray is utterly watchable, almost hypnotic in her freneticism, and the film moves at a pace like a seizing heart – rapid, restless, and unpredictable. At this point I’m ready to just start mailing Cummings my money in the hopes he’ll use it for a feature, and I’m ridiculously poor.

Enough talking, get to watching, and when you’re done be sure to share this far and wide across your various social media accounts; everyone should see The Robbery.

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