Big things truly do come in small packages and with his first foray into short film, Canadian writer/director Jeremy Comte has already made a big impact on the film festival circuit garnering over 65 noteworthy nods. Sights have been set however for the ultimate movie accolade for any aspiring film maker, the OSCAR and Comte has his eye on this prize as "Fauve" is in contention for the Best Short film.
"Fauve" is the tale of two boys, Tyler and Benjamin (played by Felix Grenier and Alexandre Perrault) who love to do what boys do best - one up each other in a never ending series of power play games. Their latest antics on an old rail line playing on derelict trains, leads them to a virtually empty surface mine, a grey barren looking place. There the seemingly never-ending playground turns into a setting for the usual tricks and pranks which suddenly turn deadly.
Comte and his director of photography Philippe Lesage create an eerie foreboding feel to the film's dual settings from the haunting eeriness of the abandoned rail, to the bleak and grey barren landscape of the surface mine. This sense of isolation is amplified by the absence of any other people - we are not even allowed to see the driver of the dump truck through the mine so for the viewer an increasing sense of isolation but for our two young protagonists, a huge playground with no grown ups to spoil their fun. This juxtaposition of grown up dread with child-like innocence sets up perfectly the unfolding tragedy which when it happens hits as hard as a thump to the chest.
"Fauve" is an exercise in compelling storytelling, using seemingly innocuous locations to set up and execute a story of a modern spin on the classic cry wolf tale. Grenier and Perrault as the two boys at play revel in their fun but are such good little actors that when the play turns into panic the fear and loathing tugs at the heartstrings and keeps viewer attention gripped to the end.