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'FRED et marie' and 'Marie et Fred,' Painful and Beautiful Arri Alexa-Shot Films About Domestic Violence

01.7.13 @ 3:45PM Tags : , , , , ,

We’ve talked about how just because something is made as an advertisement, that doesn’t necessarily mean it can’t stand on its own as a piece of art. The same can be said for a film made for a particular cause, in this case domestic violence. FRED et marie and Marie et Fred were both commissioned by Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, or the French Community of Belguim, one of the three official communities in Belgium. The films focus on the abusive marriage between Fred and Marie, and they were both shot on the Arri Alexa — I mention this because they are two of the nicer-looking films I’ve seen lately. Click through to watch both.

Here are the films with English subtitles, and if you speak French, I’ve included the originals below:

FRED et marie (English Subtitles):

Marie et Fred (English Subtitles):

FRED et marie and Marie et Fred (French):

Obviously it’s not an easy topic of discussion, but the films portray it in a way that is both understated and powerful. Not everyone will respond to the work above in the same way, but I particularly like the attention to small details, and the way the camera itself begins to empathize with Marie through the use of closeups. The lighting is just downright gorgeous, and I think the handheld work was exactly the right balance to provide weight to the movie without being distracting (though I’m sure many disagree about handheld work being anything but distracting). Both films were shot on the Alexa with Red Pro Primes and the grading was done in Apple Color.

This is an important topic, for sure, and one that affects all countries and languages. Even if you didn’t have subtitles, I think what’s going on in the film would still be clear, and it would be no less affecting — which speaks to the skill of the actors and the filmmakers.

What do you think?

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  • I like the way the Alexa looks. It’s creamy.

  • marklondon on 01.7.13 @ 7:47PM

    I knew I had you pegged right as a fan of the Scandi grade :-)
    The Alexa looks good as usual. Its amazing how flexible that camera is.

  • ThunderBolt on 01.7.13 @ 11:02PM

    Great lighting and scenes well played. Grading is a little flat, but a good look.

  • This was some powerful and believable material for me. Thanks for posting it here, Joe.

  • Nice acting and camera a bit in the style of the brothers Dardenne. A bit long do if you expect a commercial.
    The flat style of grading is used a lot in Belgium the last year maybe a reaction to the oversaturation and contrast of the years before and the introduction of Red and Allexa in TV productions.

    • Daniel Mimura on 01.15.13 @ 8:21PM

      Man…it’s not just europe. Everyone around here is going all flat and dull–to the point it’s looking like ungraded RAW, and it’s clearly a reaction against crushed blacks and supersat. The pendulum swings one way…it’s just gonna start going the other way.

      I’m over both looks lately.

  • nice picture.
    both actors were really believable.
    I could totally feel the tension in the 1st one. and the dilemma of the 2nd.
    great shorts.

  • Reading the last comment on the second movie: “Domestic violence. To escape, you must react” I had to post a link to my short film on the same topic, watch BEAST at https://vimeo.com/56852001 :-)

    It’s shot on the Panasonic HPX-3000 using Zeiss DigiPrimes and graded on Quantel Pablo.

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