Travelers In The Night

"Working the lonely late shift, a gas station cashier sees a man enter the shop."

Monotony, dance, illumination. A gas station is used as an unlikely stage for dancing and choreography in this film by director Ena Sendijarevic, which features three characters and an external conflict that triggers an internal one, with a strong presence of music.

Narrated from the POV of the cashier, the film starts with slow paced editing and little motion within the frame. Combined with composition, a desaturated aesthetic, framing and naturalistic performances these help transmit the monotonous, lonely life of the woman character. The personality of the second man contrasts with the former, arriving at the station driving his car at high speed. From then on, editing speed increases. The catchy pop song “Bette Davis Eyes” plays on the radio and provides a plot point, with the man character starting to improvise a dance and connecting with the cashier.

Other highlights include the attention to facial expressions to transmit the story, the use of a semi-subjective camera to generate suspense as the cashier looks for the man, the authenticity of the couple dancing scene, and the contrast between dancing and the situation that follows, as well as the unexpected twist at the end, which resignifies the whole film.

What makes it work? Surprise, humor, a widely appealing subject that deals with routine and a monotonous job, the transition from the dance to the robbery, great performances and an ending that leaves one thinking.


Bette Davis Eyes song - Kim Carnes' version

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