Fauve [subtitled]


Fauve is a Canadian short film, in French with English subtitles.

I had to look up what “fauve” means. There are multiple definitions, including as the name of a movement in art. But I’m guessing that the relevant definition for this film is that of a “wildcat,” or more broadly, “wild,” “untamed,” “savage.”

I’m not a hundred percent sure of that, though. It’s about two boys who are off playing and getting into mischief, but I don’t know that I would call their behavior “savage.”

The word can also mean “tan” or “tawny” in color, but that seems even less related.

Anyway, the kids are kind of exploring out in the middle of nowhere. Along the way they’re roughhousing and challenging each other in various ways—just little games they invent on the spot to test their mettle.

They slip under a fence into what appears to be some abandoned mine or industrial site of some kind. It’s completely deserted, except then they see a very large vehicle in the distance coming toward them. They run a safe distance away and continue their hijinks.

Soon, though, they find that they’ve put themselves in a position of great danger. I won’t say how it plays out from there, whether they get away and how, etc.

Fauve is quite engaging in its suspense. It does a very good job of enabling you to put yourself in their shoes, to feel their increasing panic. It raises issues of what they did wrong to end up where they are, what they could have done differently, what they should do now, whether their plight is more one’s fault than the other’s, etc.

Is there a point to it beyond just taking the audience on a scary thriller of an emotional ride? I’m not sure.

Actually what it put me in mind of are clichéd admonitions from parents. You know, all the don’t do x, y, and z stuff, where a lot of times it’s not at all clear that they even know what they’re afraid of, but it’s more along the lines of, “Well, it’s just something unfamiliar and unknown where you won’t be under direct adult observation and control, so I’m sure there must be something bad that could happen.” And this turns out to be a case where they’re actually right.