Your Weekly Short: ‘Pity’

Welcome to “Your Weekly Short,” a feature that showcases one short from a Wisconsin filmmaker all while stretching the definition of “weekly.” Brace thy face.

It’s tough to think of a comparison to “Pity” considering it’s almost entirely reduced to a guy in a car. Oshkosh’s John Pata (co-director of Dead Weight) punches up atmospherics and lighting in equal measure in adapting an idea from Pig Destroyer’s J.R. Hayes.

And boy does it show. Actor Jake Martin’s “Anonymous” stews inside his beat-up jalopy, chain smoking and downing glugs from his beer. (Or maybe it’s beers?) Even time is sucked into his vacuum of self-loathing and despair as he parks outside the home of a former lover. Martin’s guttural delivery transcends conventional info-dumps by how low his growls go, as if plumbing the depths of a very twisted psyche. “Pity” doesn’t apologize for the disturbing twists it takes, but Pata immerses the viewer in a sludgy, deranged point of view rather than defending it outright. There are hints of misogyny but the one person this stalker can ultimately hurt most is himself — and in the worst ways.