Killing Time

"Can you really get rid of time?"

Coming from renowned Parisian usine Gobelins, Killing Time deals with an unusual subject, placing it among those shorts that address universal themes and aren’t chained to “the tyranny of the present”.

Two main characters, a conflict with the system presented as an external conflict (time is personified as a character), playful non-realistic staging and depicting passage of time are the main ingredients of this short.

Staging plays a key role, the film takes place in rural locations, in a rock in the middle of the sea and in a place outside of time, among others. The non-realistic mise-en-scène and how the artists have experimented with aesthetics (lighting, reframing, animated split screens, overlayed character trails, etc.) adds a lot of playfulness to the short.

Spatial and temporal continuity are also important elements of the film. In some scenes, characters’ time runs at normal speed while other elements experience time running at a different speed (usually driven by the actions of one of the characters). Spatial continuity is usually maintained (screen directions are respected), with the exception of the scene which takes place outside of time.

What makes it work so well? The main character’s expressiveness and tight shots help build and transmit conflict, playful non-realistic staging and experimentation (which extends all the way to editing and transitions) offer plenty of surprises and a choice of subject that reaches a wide audience.

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