"Out of sync."

Reverb is a highly psychological film by Quentin Joas that offers a portrait of an introvert. It was produced during his studies at Lyon-based Ecole Emile Cohl’s Art Designer / Animated Film Director program.

Three characters, one of them split into two, internal conflict, a friendship theme and an accent on subjectivity in narration through the use of sound to describe a psychological portrait of an introvert are the main elements of the short.

Staged in urban locations Reverb uses a stylized aesthetic with varying color palettes for day and night, placing special attention on lighting. Desaturated colors together with a glow effect are used to portray the spirit of Clément’s character.

Much of the dialogue is delivered while characters are walking. Three-shots and two-shots abound to portray the characters together and their friendship. Wider shots are use to describe the locations as well as to build a time-lapse effect that helps further transmit Clément’s being out-of-sync with the world around him. Reverb also uses an interesting narrative device when transposing the character’s internal conflict into a conflict with film elements (2m33sec), an obstacle he manages to tear down when his friend offers him the chance to talk and open up.

Dialogues are mostly unimportant (with the exception of the last sequences), the emphasis of the film is placed on the unintelligible (through sound design to build a subjective narrative) and Clément’s tendency to disconnect from immediate reality and turn into a spectator.

Visual rhythm varies, and it’s handled through editing, motion within the frame, camera shakes, camera moves, a blink effect and a nice time-lapse effect.

What makes Reverb work so well? Creative and original script, effective directing that successfully delivers a psychological portrait, great use of sound and sensory images, abundant surprises and a nice depiction of the power of friendship and dialogue to help resolve internal conflicts.


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