Just Before Losing Everything
Original title: Avant que de tout perdre
A young boy pretends to go to school and hides under a small bridge. A teenager in tears waits at a bus stop. A woman picks them up and drives them to the parking lot of a supermarket. They step out of the car, the woman takes a big trash bag out of the trunk. All three rush inside the store...
Like watching a skyscraper sway
Easily my favorite of all the live action shorts of 2014 is Xavier Legrand's "Avant Que De Tout Perdre" (Just Before Losing Everything), one of the tensest and most unsettling short films I've seen in a while. Punctuated throughout the live action shorts special are interviews with acclaimed directors that detail the filmmaking process when it comes to shorts and even director Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) says it's never about length but about intelligence and if you have a good idea in a short amount of time and exercise it with real thought then you'll have a great short. Through the use of what one could call real-time shooting (where everything happens as if it would in real life), Legrand gives us a story that we learn more and more about over time and nothing is immediately spelled out for us through the use of cheap dialog. The short opens with a young boy walking to school before being stopped by a teacher driving to school telling him to hurry up. Instead, he goes underneath a bridge to play near a creek before being picked up by his mom who is flying down the streets of France in her vehicle. After picking up the boy's older sister, they arrive at the mother's place of employment, which mirrors the appearance of a Wal-Mart Supercenter. In the office, she talks with her boss about how she needs to press charges against her husband and that she's leaving town tonight. The boss fires her, allowing her to receive her severance package. Things get even more hectic when the husband arrives at the store, asking his wife's friend to speak to her immediately. What unfolds is something of a cat-and-mouse thriller, in one particular setting, with one goal in mind - getting out of the store. The short is consistently tense, providing for a greatly unsettling experience that toys with ones emotions in such a bold and unexpected way. Furthermore, it's also interesting to take note of the young male actor, Milgan Chatelain, whose character is shown telling coworkers about the horrors his mother has faced in a frighteningly casual manner, showing how he almost considers these events as normalcy. Legrand has made a gripping and pervasively unsettling short that should guarantee him a future feature-length project in no time.
- Feb 26, 2014
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By what name was Avant que de tout perdre (2013) officially released in Canada in English?Answer