Love Is Dangerous

"An unusual dating agency."

Love Is Dangerous is a short film about a boy who wants to fall in love and hires a professional agent to help. The short was created by three artists at Parisian school Gobelins and playfully mixes film genres to provide an entertaining salad.

Elements from detective films are used, but tweaked in fun ways. The usual femme fatal character in this case becomes the detective character turned Cupid. And the mission, which commonly implies resolving a crime, is exchanged for making a man and a woman fall in love. That is, the assignment is love, and the detective film genre is blended with romance as the subject of love becomes part of its main narrative.

Three main characters, internal and external conflicts, fun non-realistic staging, an accent on iconography and an entertaining genre salad are the main elements of the short.

Staged in interiors (agent’s office) and exteriors (mountain road, forest), the film uses locations to feature elements from detective films and play with expectations. A stylized aesthetic is employed, with particular attention dedicated to lighting, borrowing codes from film-noir as well as incorporating pyrotechnics to highlight the couple’s kiss. Good work has been dedicated to character design, their expressiveness helps greatly in transmitting the conflicts and emotions of the film.

Iconography plays a significant role: a detective’s office, a folder with a file from a case, a rifle scope POV, etc., are combined with hearts, a kiss, Cupid’s wings, etc. The traditional bow and arrows from the myth are replaced by a rifle. An explosion is used to signal passion and the release of the uncontrollable desire caused by Cupid’s intervention, as occurs in the ancient Greek myth.

Visual rhythm is high, handled through editing, camera moves (pans, tilts, dollies, cranes), camera shakes, motion within the frame and changes in lighting. Low camera angles are used to lend the detective authority. Long shots and two-shots are employed to capture the scene of the boy and girl characters in the car. An extreme long shots that transitions into a medium shot is used to link the detective character to the car and build a coherent space. Screen directions play a key role in keeping spatial continuity. Slow motion is effectively used to potentiate conflict stylize staging further. Tighter shots are employed as intimacy and desire increases in the characters, helping convey their expressions and emotions, ending with pyrotechnics. Close-ups are also used to punctuate (emphasize) specific actions, such as the detective lowering her eyeglasses.

What makes Love Is Dangerous work so well? Highly creative script featuring a fun mix of genres, plenty of surprises, expressive characters, quality animation, playful non-realistic staging and a romance with a happy ending.


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