At One Room With A View, nothing excites us more than new talent. The thrilling prospect of discovering fresh, stimulating voices as they enter the world of film for the first time. It’s one of the reasons why we began featuring shorts each week in the first place. This week we get to celebrate a trio of talents as we champion Nathan Otaño, Rémy Clarke and Leïla Courtillon and their thrilling work, Quand J’ai Remplacé Camille.
Quand J’ai Remplacé Camille, which translates into English as ‘When I Replaced Camille’, is the sharply animated tale of Laure – an unwanted, unappreciated replacement – as part of a swimming team, replacing the deceased Camille. Despite her best efforts, Laure is always a pace behind what the team need. This obsession to improve leads our protagonist to push herself to her mental and physical limits. It’s a path much trodden in athletic narratives of old, but the trio add a tangible threat, verve and thrill.
There’s a dark underbelly throughout the short thanks to a strong use of colour emphasising Laure’s mental conflict. The dark and dirty reds matched against pale, fading, empty blues makes for a great contrast and creates a real visual treat. Add to this the decision to strip out any realism, keeping the short in flat 2D, only improves the narrative further. It makes the motion of the acrylic effect deeply affecting. With background characters rendered little more than grey blobs, the likes of Camille and Laure are fully realised and involving thanks to the sharp angles, and gorgeous colours.
This is a great calling card for Otaño, Clarke and Courtillon. Through this short, we’ve caught a glimpse of a colour-savvy, emotionally-tuned, set of filmmakers. Here’s to the future, and to whatever project they find themselves on next.
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CAST: Eloïse Manessier, Louise Legendre, Lisa Toromanian, Marie-Laure Dougnac, Annabelle Roux
DIRECTORS: Nathan Otaño, Rémy Clarke and Leïla Courtillon
WRITERS: Nathan Otaño, Rémy Clarke and Leïla Courtillon
SYNOPSIS: Laure must replace a deceased swimmer in the relay swim team. The qualifiers are near and the team worries about their chances at winning; the grief and stress pushes Laura to obsess over the one she replaces, Camille.