Playground

"Games without frontiers."

Produced at French school La Poudrière, Playground focuses on expressing the narrative POV of a child and the creation of a strong contrast with the events taking place around him.

Staged in 3 locations (2 urban/suburban and a cemetery), the film employs one main character complemented by a cast of mostly undifferentiated characters (with a couple of exceptions). A stylized aesthetic with saturated colors was chosen by the director, which together with the semi-subjective camera (mixed with a few POV shots) expresses the narrative point of view of the child. Visual rhythm is handled mostly through editing and motion within the frame, plus a few camera moves.

No strong conflicts are present. Sound, iconography and offscreen (as well as onscreen) space are effectively used to build an environment that contrasts with the joy and playfulness of the main character.

What makes the film work so well, considering no strong conflicts are present? Playground deals with a subject that resonates with a wide audience, we’ve all been children once, and the director has managed to wonderfully describe that part of early childhood in which humans are unaware of the existence of death or its meaning. And how that state of ignorance implies greater joy. The authenticity of the child’s performance plays a big role in this, something that the director has clearly paid close attention to.

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