The twist film usually only works if you can't see the twist coming. That's a key element, right? In the Spanish short Cowboys, I saw it coming, I knew early on, but it did not prevent it from being one of the most powerful shorts I've seen in ages.
Martin is an actor who is down on his luck, and his agent gets him a gig. A young boy who saw Martin in a lottery commercial wants him to go to an amusement park with him for a costume contest. Martin has a grown son of his own, but he's still not a strong fatherly type. The two have the experience that was paid for, and then Martin decides he has to go one step further, and that's when we really see the human that Martin is, as well as the carelessness he brings to his life.
Clive Arrindell, the ACTUAL face of the Spanish Christmas Lottery as El Calvo, is a fantastic actor who gives a performance that is layered, largely unsentimental, and positively breathtaking in its complexity. He does not fall into the obvious trap this material could have led him into, and instead he gives a world class performance. The cinematography, especially of a horse race, is strong, and the direction of Bernabé Rico gives this short the chance to make a strong impact, even if you know what the final minute will reveal.
You can find out more at http://cowboysthefilm.com
Klaus at Gunpoint
A Film Journal dedicated to all film.A segment of Office Supply Publishing.