En Rang Par Deux

****

Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

En Rang Par Deux
"There is a rhythm to this, a catchy sense of improvisation."

"In lines by twos", that title, a standing instruction of the playground. "I don't have a story", the opening words. From the blank black screen to an almost pastel city, a depth of colour and texture. A minimalism in the presentation of people, outlines and space, fingers on frets and the lined echo of the soundboard of a guitar when it can be felt.

Portraits drawn with photographed eyes. Italy sketched, the coffee pot on the table, the squiggled crowds of the piazza, those colours the dome of the heavens and the church below. Using that minimalism, those suggestions of form and colour, Elisabetta Bosco, Margherita Giusti, Viola Mancini create something charming, cheering. The clawed hands of the state grab for the home made from the square, clutching it tight, but the more it squeezes the more escapes.

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Even when we see photography of the places, the people, we have the sense of already knowing them from how they have been drawn. The tale is a slight one, and yet an Odyssey too. Two men who have found each other through music in the square, and from that found more. Using music from its subjects Aliou and Afif (under their guise as The King Kong Collective) this is at once a traditional subject and an experimental documentary. There is a pleasure at seeing the saxophone's track across the screen but that sense of motion and emotion comes from a place of fondness and fun.

Drawing on a handful of animation techniques, literally drawing over footage over the arrival of refugees to Italy, soundtracked by its protagonists, there is a rhythm to this, a catchy sense of improvisation, of making do, of making something good. The three animators styles complement each other, do justice to their subject(s). The heart of animation is organisation, and En Rang Par Deux has its ducks in a row.

Reviewed on: 10 Oct 2021
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Animation sees Afif, originally from Tunisia and Aliou, from Senegal, tell their different stories.

Director: Elisabetta Bosco, Margherita Giusti, Viola Mancini

Writer: Margherita Giusti

Year: 2020

Runtime: 7 minutes

Country: Italy

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