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Puts you in the shoes of the passersby and is a technically impressive re-enactment
The English title of this short film is "Incident by a Bank" and that is exactly what it is an incident that was witnessed by passersby outside of a bank. While regrouping their possessions on a bench, two men spot two youths on a moped acting a bit suspicious and decide to keep an eye on them. What they see is two rather clueless young men who plan to rob a bank, and the whole event unfolds in front of the witnesses.
When I read about this film I had thought it was a comedy where some ridiculous events would unfold in a failed robbery; although the robbery is a failure, it isn't particularly hilarious but this was my preconception, not the film's aim. Instead it is supposedly a very accurate re-enactment of the events witnessed by real people as they stared on, bemused by what they saw happening on a normal day on a normal street. Although not hilarious, the film made me feel like I was on the street with the witnesses and, just as they were watching to see what happened, so was I. In this regard the substance of the film didn't hit me as more than just a little incident before I, like those on the street, carried on with my day, but it worked well for what it was and it doesn't propose to do more than that (even the title is simple and descriptive).
So on the first watch you are looking at the "incident" and are bemused by it, however on reflection there is more to be impressed by. Shot all in one take, this film takes in a fairly busy street with a handful of vehicles going by and probably something in the order of 100 people involved in the one take. Some of them are in the windows of an office and we see them react to noises, others are in the street or on a student float or involved directly in the robbery but they all have one thing in common they react in such a way that is natural and makes you totally forget that any of this needed coordination it simply plays as a real street scene. I don't know how many times they ran the re-enactment but I would be interested to find out just because this sort of thing is not easy all it takes is someone to drop something they weren't supposed to and, instead of just carrying on, they break character and thus ruin the whole take. While it is "just" a short film, the way it is pulled together technically is very impressive this is not a grainy "two person" re-enactment like you'd see on Crimewatch, this is a genuine real street that feels like it would in you went there today. Quite a feat.
So, in terms of the "incident" itself the film is interesting as it puts you in the same bemused positions as those on the street when the real incident took place. However, in addition to this the short is technically impressive not because it looks technically impressive, but because it comes off as so natural that you forget that all of it is a re-enactment.
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