"French Roast" is a 2008 French computer-animated short film created by Fabrice Joubert. It received ANIMA – Córdoba International Animation Festival award in 2009.

The 1980s French Roast

Serg Levine26.12.20223min10226
frenchroast.jpg
In a fancy Parisian Café, an uptight bourgeois discovers he forgot to bring his wallet and bides his time by ordering more coffee.

“French Roast” is a 2008 French computer-animated short film created by Fabrice Joubert. It received ANIMA – Córdoba International Animation Festival award in 2009.

The storyline is very simple. A disheveled man picks up litter on a street using a stick with a nail on its end. In a bar, a cigar-smoking rich man reads the financial section of a newspaper. The vagabond enters; the gent ignores a request for alms, the hobo exits. The gent can’t find his wallet, so he orders espresso after espresso as he ponders what to do.

The vagabond returns, a napping nun at the next table gives him money, and the gent considers stealing her purse. As the evening drags on, the bill for espresso mounts.
A detective tacks up a wanted poster. Among the waiter, detective, nun, vagabond, and gent-in-a-jam, can luck or kindness find its way into the bar?

In my picky opinion, the film “French Roast” is undoubtedly a brilliant directorial and team work.

In post-colonial Europe of 1980s, double-roasted coffee is referred to as French roast. And the characters of the short film are under the double influence of simultaneously occurring circumstances. These circumstances most fully reveal their characters.

It’s impossible to find a single unjustified frame in the film, despite the apparent slowness of the plot development.

The embodied characters and events are absolutely harmonious with each other and endlessly complement the impression with each subsequent re-view.

You just need to enjoy the film, as when tasting another masterpiece of French cuisine, which has its own flavor.

How rightly noticed and skillfully reflected the nuances of the mentality of the representatives of the French society. This, for example, is the indecisiveness of the bourgeois, who is unable to admit his predicament, who has forgotten his wallet and is simply madly and aimlessly dragging out time, apparently believing that the problem will resolve itself.

And the plump gendarme is very pleased with his position and is in no hurry, because he seems to be everywhere at work. A very helpful waiter who always takes every opportunity to be of some use to the police. A sweet elderly French woman capable of a crime incompatible with her age and position.
And, of course, the disinterested beggar is bigger than others and is very energetically engaged in his unique mission of impaling pieces of paper on a sharpened stick.
But the main thing is a magnificent absurd plot in the best traditions of the immortal French comedy. All this is very hilarious and true in relation to the image of the French, as we remember it from our favorite movies of the 70s and 80s.

It’s not surprising that in 2010 the film by Fabrice Joubert was nominated for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Award for Best Animated Short Film, of course, for the Oscar, which went to a completely different film, “Logorama”, as usual, with an American’s plot, but also shot film by French animators François Allot, Herve de Crecy and Ludovic Uplain.

Complete collection of author animations from the FAAF.

Serg Levine

I read, I think, I write …


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