Notes on Short Film

Lengthy diatribe on brief cinematic experience.

Before Dawn (2005)

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This 12-minute film by Hungarian filmmaker Balint Kenyeres shows us how impressive cinematography can heighten the impact of a film. The entire film is one continuous shot, no cuts, tracking a truck transporting refugees through a wheatfield in the wee hours of the morning. writer Rhett Murphy summarizes the filmmaking techniques employed here:

Shot by Matyas Erdely, the look is muted in grey tones. Color is primarily used with the truck (hope) and the lone refugee (hope destroyed). Sound is used purely for story and suspense – from birds taking flight (freedom), to the truck (hope), to the chaotic captures (hope destroyed). Everything here is laser-focused on the story.

The economy of filmmaking used here – from the lack of cuts to the single setting to the sparse color to the lone close-up – serve to make this film a complete and unique experience. The film racked up plenty of awards and film festival screenings.

Written by Alisa Hathaway

April 6, 2011 at 11:00 am

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