The Movie Waffler Shorts in Focus - <i>Pro Kopf</i> | The Movie Waffler

Shorts in Focus - Pro Kopf

A travelling businessman's call home to his wife takes a strange turn.

Review by Benjamin Poole

Directed by: Sascha Zimmermann

In Sascha Zimmerman’s zippy short Pro Kopf (trans from German: ‘per person’), Martin (Ray Strachan) is a travelling businessman staying overnight in a cheap hotel. He is brash and laddish, seemingly more interested in the room’s minibar and porn channels than his job, as he cheekily shirks his boss’s phoned request for a report. Hanging up on his boss, pouring himself a whisky and flicking through the television channels, Martin picks up the phone again; but this time he dials his wife back home for some dirty talk. Martin’s amorous promises are the cause of some embarrassment though, as it quickly turns out that he isn’t talking to his wife after all, but a startled maid (Anita - Fiana de Guzman) she has hired in his absence. This initial awkwardness is nothing compared to what she goes on to ask him though: if he, the man of the house, is away, then who exactly is in the bedroom with his wife, making sweet noisy love to her? Furious at his wife’s infidelity, and egged on by Anita’s stirring, Martin makes the maid an indecent proposal of his own: requesting that Anita ‘kill the cheating bitch’.
Pro Kopf makes the most of its singular setting; DoP David Rankenhohn’s camera uses the confined space of the hotel room effectively; spinning vertiginously about Martin as he negotiates with Anita, finding weird and varied angles to express the mounting tension. Zimmerman’s editing is agile, giving Pro Kopf its clean, snappy pace. Although the short is just shy of 15 minutes, Strachan convinces with a range of emotions, and unseen de Guzman is also good, moving from taken aback to taking advantage with cruel dexterity. The suspense that Pro Kopf initially promises is carried throughout, carefully managed to its twist climax, and when that flourish comes, it’s as unsettling as a phone ringing in the middle of the night.
No wrong numbers here; Pro Kopf fits the bill.

You can watch Pro Kopf in full below: