Short films matter. Vimeo wants you to know it. So do we. That’s why every week we’ll take a look at some of the short film world’s best and brightest. This week, we bring you Emmanuel Tenenbaum’s tragicomic thriller Sans Plomb.
The Plot: An eco-activist tries to take matters into his own hands.
Call me crazy, but I’m always impressed by a solid, one-take film. While that style is particularly impressive in a feature-length project, I find it’s far more effective in the short form realm. Emmanuel Tenenbaum’s Sans Plomb is not just a solid piece of one-take cinema … it’s a damn fine one.
Inspired by a true story, the film follows a passionate environmental activist (played by Vincent Pelletier) in his attempt to serve some vigilante justice to an international oil conglomerate … and let’s just say that all does not go according to plan. What follows is an immaculately paced, concisely scripted tale of a simple plan gone horribly – and sort of hilariously – wrong. Though I should point out that the film is hilarious in that too embarrassing to really be funny sort of way.
The action unfolds in just over six minutes. As that action also unfolds in one-take, that means it all takes place in real time. Tenenbaum keeps the action flowing at a kinetic pace throughout. Every action – and reaction – builds with a natural, visceral energy that grabs hold from the opening shot and doesn’t let go even as the credits begin to roll. He bolsters every passing moment with Nick Smith’s propulsive original music, Emmanuel Cerrone’s immaculate cinematography and some immersive sound work from Julien Croquet.
In all, Sans Plomb is a surprisingly tense but humorous piece of work. One that builds its story and its tension in beautifully organic ways. One that draws clearly defined characters with almost no effort. And one that punches the drama home as easily as it does the comedy. Hey, did I mention that Tenenbaum & Co. manage all that in one, unedited take? ‘Cause they do.
Meet The Crew:
Directed by: Emmanuel Tenenbaum Written by: Guillame Fournier Starring: Vincent Pelletier, Catherine Breton, Jeanne Gionet-Lavigne and Daniel Boulanger Cinematography by: Emmanuel Cerrone Sound Editor: Julien Croquet Music by: Nick Smith
I hope you enjoy Sans Plomb! And I hope you’re noting Emmanuel Tenenbaum’s name. Sans Plomb brought the director some well deserved notice on the 2015/2016 festival circuit. While the film is clear proof that Tenenbaum has a big-screen sort of eye, we’re going to have to wait a little bit longer to see his work theaters. That’s because he’s been hard at work on his follow up short, Deux Dollars. In fact, that film has been making waves on this year’s festival scene … including a spot at the lauded Fantasia Fest. You can catch the trailer for Deux Dollars – along with much of Tenenbaum’s previous work – over at his Vimeo page.
While you’re kicking around, be sure to check out a few of the thousands of the other short films – animated, live action and documentary – their team has curated for your viewing pleasure (via desktop or mobile device – SWEET!). You’re sure to find something interesting. And you may just stumble across the next great filmmaker.