A dreamy atmospheric journey through a series of suspended events. It portrays the inherent power that an action, slowed almost to stillness, has to evoke the imagination.
I like to call this one A Canadian Masterpiece! This film created by Departement, a multidisciplinary creative studio based in Montreal, and produced by Antler Films, also in Montreal, is an experimental short that captures you with its wonderful imagery from the very start. What grabs you is not the plot or the action itself, it is how the simplistic moments are brought forward to you.
There really isn’t that much of a storyline to this short film, the viewer journeys through a series of suspended events in specific moments of a women’s life. The scenes vary from tragic to optimistic and uses rich tapestry to portray and inherent power that an action, slowed almost to stillness, has
to evoke the imagination.
“032” The Canadian Affair redefines the “bullet time” technique created by the Wachowski brothers in The Matrix and re-attemped thousands of times after that. Ok maybe it’s not exactly the same technique and context, but the idea is the same; the camera moving through extremely slowed down time. In “032” time is completely at a stand still, or so at least you think it is at first sight, but while watching you notice there is something more to it that makes you ponder. The Departement team magnificently manage to give the frozen characters life in their still moments. The result; a stunningly beautiful short film that leaves you with your eyes wide open during the entire film!
How did they do it?
If I told you how they made this you probably wouldn’t believe me. They used the simplest, yet maybe the most difficult technique they could of. So how did they freeze time and give the characters so much life? They didn’t! The actresses were actually standing still for the entirety of the shots, and the camera moved around them. They shot at 60fps and reduced it back to normal speed to make the movements less subtle, and had to CGI any imperfections with the blinking, let’s face it, nobody can hold out a blink that long, especially if their told not to. The result turned into a fantastic flow and just enough “almost” seamless movement that gave the women so much life! Cutting the frame speed in half also smooths down the steady cam walk, and instead of getting a cameraman feel it gives you a nice sense of floatation through time. Strings were used and removed in post production for certain objects as well as CGI, created by Fly Studio for other floating objects.
Besides the floating and successfully fulfilled frozen time, I must say one of my favorite aspects of the film is the set design. Art director Mathieu Léger did just an extraordinary job at filling up the lens with such rich colors and textures. Time has been taken to reach the littlest detail, make up and wardrobe equally made a stunning effort to bring out the most character out of these motionless beautiful women, which gives this short all the meaning of poetry without words!
The Canadian Affair is all brought together by a wonderful soundtrack by The Good The Bad. The track named “032” creates a great relation between music and image and gives the pace to still universe.
I wanted this to be an atmospheric, dreamy, melancholic journey through the moments of women’s slices of life. I thought about The Good The Bad and contacted The Adam who got excited about the project. They produced an amazing soundtrack, giving great depth and atmosphere to the images
– Director Thibaut Duverneix
The track ‘032’ is available for free download
The only reproach I have to this short film is the absence of a making of. Giving the viewer a little more something behind the scenes would have been a complete experience. But this takes nothing away from the entity of the work, which is to this day, one of my favorite and most inspiring short films ever!