SXSW 2020 Review: Run/On (dir by Daniel Newell Kaufman)


Run/On is a 13-minute short film that opens with a shot of a young boy balancing a fidget spinner on his forehead.

It’s haunting shot, one that is beautifully composed and which also tells you almost everything that you need to know about the film.  Fidget spinners are very useful to those of us who have ADD and who sometimes find it difficult to focus in a chaotic world.  I carry a fidget spinner everywhere that I go and, as strange as it apparently seems to some people, spinning it really does provide me with some focus and comfort.  Whenever I start to feel the world overwhelming me, I concentrate on watching it spin and, by the time that it stops, I’ve usually managed to calm down a bit.

The rest of Run/On deals with a boy named Luke and his mother and the time they spend waiting in a believably filthy Greyhound bus station.  Luke doesn’t speak throughout the entire film, but he sees and hears all of the chaos around him.  His mother, on the other hand, can’t stop talking.  She’s got two trash bags full of clothes and two tickets for a Greyhound.  She also has a gun in her purse, something Luke obviously finds to be concerning.

It’s a scary bus station.  Speaking as someone who once spent the night at the Greyhound bus station in Dallas (long story, don’t ask), I can say that this film did a great job of capturing just how scary, menacing, and exciting a big city bus station can be.  When Luke goes to a vending machine, we’re aware of the two men sitting in a corner of the bus station and watching.  When he later walks around the station, he passes a seedy-looking man on a phone.  All around him are people living their own lives of desperation and it’s somewhat frightening to witness it all.  It’s enough to make you want to run and keep running.

Run/On, with all of its mysteries, is currently available on Prime for a limited time.

One response to “SXSW 2020 Review: Run/On (dir by Daniel Newell Kaufman)

  1. Pingback: Lisa’s Week In Review: 4/27/20 — 5/3/20 | Through the Shattered Lens

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