Las Vegas Film Society

Running Time


director of photography KURT RAUF steadi-cam & camera operator BILL GIERHART
editor KAYE DAVIS line producer IDA GEARON
music composed by JOSEPH LODUCA producer JANE GOE
Written, Produced, and Directed by JOSH BECKER

Wow... this movie is such an achievement, that I almost don't know where to start.

Bruce Campbell. Simply put, his best performance ever. In addition, this is the first film to be truelly shot in "Real Time." What I mean by that is that 5 minutes of time in the movie is 5 real minutes. The only other film to attempt this was Alfred Hitchcock's "Rope", but where Rope failed Running Time excels.

In any movie, no one scene can be longer than 10 minutes. (That's the lenth of a reel of film.) In a movie that runs in real time, it can be extra difficult to hide the "cuts." What director Josh Becker did was plan the cuts where they might naturally occur, rathen than have a cut every 10 minutes. That means that some individual scenes are upwards of 7 or 8 minutes long (an incredible achievement considering the amount of lines the actor(s) had to memorize), while other scenes are as small as a few minutes.

I can pretty much gaurantee you that after the 1st 5 or 10 minutes, you'll quit looking for the cuts and just get lost in the movie. The movie was shot in black and white so that the actors could move from indoors to outside in a single take (color film requires different filters for inside and outside filming, requiring a cut every time someone went from inside to outside and vice-versa).

The pace of the movie is break-neck. Set as a "heist gone wrong" caper, you'll find yourself sweating alongside the characters as the events unfold in front of you. The casting is as superb as the filming and the editing. Besides Bruce Campbell, this film stars another one of my favorites Anita Barone (someone tell me, is this woman single??!) and the always adequate Jeremy Roberts.

The most unfortunate thing about Running Time is that is never got commercial distribution. It was made on a paltry $350,000 budget, financed almost entirely by Producer & Director Josh Becker (who also wrote the screenplay). I can't understand how a movie like Clerks gets full distribution by Miramax but Running Time (although critically acclaimed) gets nowhere. Fortunately for those of us TRUE movie geeks, a copy of the movie can be ordered directly from Josh Becker himself for $49.95 from Becker Films. This may seem like a lot for a VHS movie, but consider the facts: 1) There is no other way to see this film, 2) had you paid full admission price for the movie plus popcorn and soda you would be out the same $49.95, and 3) you get to keep the bloody thing!

In all honesty, I can't think of a better way to spend an afternoon, and although a bit pricey, you'll find yourself looking for excuses to show this film to all your friends just so you can watch it again.

"Running Time" is not rated and runs 70 minutes (in Real Time).


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