The Last Match

"A child looks for his lost ball."

The Last Match is a remarkable short film by Henry Mbouem Mbeck about a child who plays a basketball match in a cemetery. Created at renowned French school ENSI, the film presents an external conflict between a child and an invisible character, featuring non-realistic staging and a mix between sports and supernatural themes.

Narrated from the point of view of the child character, camera height stays low in many of the shots. Medium shots are employed to help transmit the external conflict through the expressiveness of the character, combined with wider shots to present the action. Visual rhythm is handled mostly through editing and motion within the frame (there’s one dolly shot at 0m36s).

Quality character design and animation are worth noting (posing helps convey the character’s attitude and the ball’s expressiveness contributes greatly to the short), together with overall environment design and great aesthetic work (framing, composition of elements, color palette, etc.). These elements coupled with the choice of music help set a cheerful mood that turns the location into a stage for a playful short film.

What makes The Last Match work so well? Abundant surprises, great creativity, playfulness, non-realistic staging, expressive animation and quality aesthetic work.

The film was made in only two months by Henry Mbouem Mbeck during his 3rd year studies at ENSI, with “cemetery” as proposed theme.

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