Eventhough I really feel sleepy now, I have to write some notes, even so short note to not forget the feeling that this film brought to me.
Most of the time, the director used Medium Close Up shot & Medium shot, sometime Long shot and rarely Close Up shot even in the most emotional scene. It made me feel this film has something mystic, something untold, something can’t be explained until the end of the film. I think because the audience don’t have so many chances to watch the Close Up shot with the character’s emotional face clearly, it will keep the distance between the world of the film and the audience. The audience maybe feel that they can’t get any closer to the character’s insight even when the film ends. That world is still a sceret that we just only have a glance over it. We can feel the atmosphere, we can feel the problem they facing but we are not sure that we can really understand it, even really know the whole story. I have that feeling not only in Belle Epine but also in other films that Léa Seydoux acted and I have watched it recently. However, that feeling is most clearly in Belle Épine through the way the director tried to limit the time using Close Up shot.
Eventhough the director tried to limit Close Up shot, the good thing is that it can’t hide the good acting of Léa. In one of the scenes at the end of this film, even the director just used one Medium shot for a long time, I still can feel her pain, and her tears nearly burst me out. I know that in the most emotional scene, the director usually uses Close Up shot for the audience to see clearly the face of the character and it makes them feel easier to empathize with him or her, the director won’t use Close Up shot if the actor didn’t act well enough because in this situation, Close Up reveals the actor’s not good performance. But in the scene at the end of this film, eventhough the director didn’t use Close Up shot while Léa acted so well, I didn’t feel regret for Léa’s performance, my feeeling is still filled up. So weird. Maybe because in Medium shot, I can not only see her face full of tears, I can also see her shoulders shivering, how little she is in that tiny room. The frame was unchanged and kept that Medium shot somehow made me stay in her feeling, I just like someone stood in that room, stared in her, not neglected by changing frame shot or something else.
Long shot, Medium shot, Medium Close Up shot keep the audience can see clearly the reality of the character. Instead of having so many chances to see closer and closer the character’s emotional face through the Close Up shot, the audience have more time to see the background where the characters are. And what can we see? I saw and I felt her boring life. Therefore, I somehow sympathize with all her choices eventhough she is still like a sceret to me, a person that I can’t understand wholly.
I really like the way the director kept one Medium Close Up shot through the conversation between Prudence and her mom, then suddenly change to Long shot show us the view of their back at the end of the conversation. The speciality is in that shot, at first we just saw Prudence’s back, after a few time, we then could see her mom’s back. That shot really made me feel somehow her mom was unreal, she was not there anymore and it was so sad.
Belle Épine is the second film of Rebecca Zlotowski that I watch after Grand Central. I realize the common point of these two film is: at the last shot of the film, there is the hoot resounding until the scene fade out with black screen. In Grand Central, it’s the alarm of the dangerous level of the radiation. In Belle Épine, maybe it’s just the sound of the vehicle from the streets below the balcony where the character stands. It made the special effect to me but I can’t explain it clearly. It’s like the alarm that informing us the show ends or the change of something. I wonder if in the other films of hers have the same kind of ending.
I like Léa more and more.
The last thing. I’m really interested more in French cinema and want to watch more French films. The 3 Acts, 8 Sequences structure of Hollywood film has made me feel bored recently. I want something different. I nearly don’t know even a little thing about French film structure. I wonder if French film has any structure like Hollywood film because through the films that I have watched, I can’t still realize the common thing. It’s also because that I really watched too few French films. I will try to watch more French films in future.