Duo: A Review.

Short: Duo.
Directed by: Goeblins student team (unspecified).
Released: 2014.
Running time: 3.31 min.

Duo is an animated short done in a 2D animation style with miniature sets, created by a group of students from the Parisian School Goeblins, an institute famous for their spectacular animated shorts, and likely this will not be the first of theirs to be reviewed on this blog. The short shows the ending of a partnership of two sisters whose days of performing together are coming to an end while also exploring staging and performance as a vehicle for the theme of relationships.

The use of setting is very well utilized, the scenes of on-stage, which is the present time frame as the two main characters are preforming, and behind the stage, where the final moments before they go on-stage are playing out behind the curtain of Claire and Marla, uses a vibrant red and blue colour to express the transition and conflict, both hidden in the public and upfront in private was an excellent touch with the reddish colour seeming to represent the honest relationship between the two characters, while the blue represents the public relationship, the performance faces, that they put on stage. The colours also represent the relationship of separate personalities, evidenced through the opening scene of the side by side red and blue dressing room, one organized, one not.

While the particulars of the conflict are never fleshed out, the fact that we are watching this conflict behind the seeming harmony of their movements, becoming ever more intertwined together in their act, juxtaposes this unity with their conflicting desires, and in the moment of the final act when one of the characters lets go of her partner’s hand, the viewer is left in this tense moment of wondering if her fate was going to be influenced by the conflict between them.

This film intelligently expresses a theme of relationship and performance with a narrative rich in animated mise-en-scene subtext and an inspiring capability to express an engaging story within such a short period of time. I would highly recommend this animated short to any aspiring, or current filmmakers.

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Goeblins webpage: http://www.gobelins.fr/en/gobelins

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