Jameson Cinefest 2016. Review of the short film “Reverse Angle” by Michaël De Nijs

Typically, a reverse angle shot is taken from 180’ (opposite) to the previous shot, and used to show how a character reacts to the previous shot.

In his second short film, “Reverse Angle”, former assistant director Michaël De Nijs not only uses this technique as a metaphor to illustrate his protagonist’s inner struggles and reactions to her past and to her father’s legacy, but he also plays with words, as “Contre-champs”, French for “reverse angle”, is the short’s original title [“champ” is French for “field”, and “champ” can denote both a profession and a battlefield in French].

Lydia, a young Bulgarian, wants to become a photojournalist like her father, a famous war reporter who died recently. So, she appeals to her father’s old friend Sergej, who works for a news agency in Paris, to help her in her aspirations. Sergej entrusts her with the daunting task of covering the celebration of the bicentennial of the Battle of Waterloo. Over three days, Lydia lets herself experience random encounters and attempts to convey her personal vision of the event.

Into this somewhat outlandish plot, De Nijs skillfully weaves important life issues: the pursuit of one’s dreams, the search for one’s true self, the demands of work and the pressures of parental success. Indeed, he uses these as well as the lexical field (or ‘champ’) of photography and battle to oppose two different yet similar people who share the same gene pool and talent but different angles on photography.

De Nijs’ short is successful precisely because of that. Directed with precision and assurance, acted with natural ease and beautifully shot, “Reverse Angle” is a highly subtextual, quirkily smart and compellingly crafted short whose subliminal message is to go with your gut. De Nijs most certainly went with his here!



Production: Toast Agency (Belgium 2016)

Producers: Toast

Director: Michaël De Nijs

Screenplay: Michaël De Nijs

Cinematography: Jorge Piquer Rodríguez

Music: Arnaud Blanpain

Editing: Frédéric Dupont

Cast: Lydia Indzjova, Alexandre Von Sivers, Andreas Perschewski, Aran Bertetto

 Color – 19 min.

Premiere: 19/06/2016

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