Random Acts: Pockets

A fistfight goes all weird when the opponent's trouser pockets take on a life of their own

Certainly one of the strangest shorts commissioned by Dazed & Confused as part of Channel 4’s Random Acts series, 'Pockets' begins with a penniless guy going out to get food for his hungry girlfriend. His attempt to mug a stranger in a subway goes a little wrong and turns into a bizarre fistfight. Their pockets, it turns out, are portals into which the fighters can hurl their fists, which then reappear in the pocket of their opponent.

We were driving through Highland Park in LA and Kwan joked about a doing a fight scene where a guy punches another guy through his pockets. Not funny. But we have low standards

Somehow they managed to stuff the apocalypse into this warming romance as well. Random Acts is a new arts strand that will show 260 specially commissioned three-minute films on Channel 4 over the year. Dazed Digital spoke to filmmaking team Daniels (they’re both called Daniel) about how they came up with the idea of 'Pockets'.

Dazed Digital: What's your beef with pockets?
Daniels:
It's actually a ham/cheese pocket. Are you asking if we like beef hot-pockets? No.

DD: Was it inspired by a particular incident or situation?
Daniels: Most of our work is inspired by a silly joke DK [Daniel Kwan] makes while DS [Daniel Scheinert] is driving somewhere. We were driving through Highland Park in LA and Kwan joked about a doing a fight scene where a guy punches another guy through his pockets. Not funny. But we have low standards. Anyway, we got excited about creating something that becomes artistic and visual but is super dumb and violent as well.

DD: How would you describe the genre that ‘Pockets’ sits in?
Daniels: I like to think we're inventing a genre. Drama and comedy… But not a dramedy. More like the ‘slapstick comedy that got ruined cause the directors didn't get it and they treated it like a drama’ genre.

DD: Is there a wider significance to ‘Pockets’ you wanted to play with, like privacy?
Daniels: When we were writing it, we wanted to motivate the 'gag' somehow so we tried to make a movie about what is inside your pocket. This is our submission to the ‘fight the system’ genre. The corrupt system of pockets in this case. We sincerely sympathise with characters at the bottom rung of society forced to do bad things. But we're afraid to ever tackle a theme head-on. We'd much rather put genuine emotions underneath a bunch of effects and silly jokes. 

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