The Bite

The Bite


Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

A girl in the park, playing, her nanny on the bench, watching. A small setting for a story, perhaps, but within that limited scope La Morsure manages to be haunting, intriguing, compelling.

The wind through the trees and their outline across the sky do a lot for the mood, but it is Nicholas Baby's music that carries us away. Owing an acknowledged debt to Debussy's La Neige Danse it's compelling. So too the muted palette, a sort of worn depth that achieves what the Twilight Saga seems to be aiming for.

Young Sophie is playing, a Sylvanian Families dollhouse, a Papo fairy among the anthropomorphic animals, a woodlouse perched in a Playmobil canteen. Rubis Loyzance has an air of concentration to her, and as she plays we watch her nanny over her shoulder. Loyzance's focus becomes important later, not least for where it isn't.

Agathe Bonitzer is Camille, waiting for her, well, the French is always stronger, "son amant". He is Christophe, played by Ulysse de Gregorio, an acting debut. A model by trade, he's of striking appearance, and there is more than a hint that his relationship with Camille is complicated.

Her nanny distracted by the biker, the sky grey and the trees rustling, Sophie goes exploring. Brief, evocative, when she stumbles across the camp of The Man In The Bushes events take another turn for the weird.

Well served by Antoine Platteau's production design (he also makes a brief cameo as a jogger), but even more ably aided by Alexis Kinebanyan's special effects makeup, this is a finely crafted little film. Baby's music, Petros Nousias' cinematography all combine to great effect. This is writer/director Joyce Nashawati's second short, and on this evidence she deserves many more opportunities to display her talents.

Neatly playing on the verge of the supernatural, La Morsure invites interpretation; there are implications, assumptions, derivations aplenty to be made from it. Some are toothy, some may require more chewing over, but all are satisfying. 'The Bite' might not be much more than a mouthful, but it's easily a proper amuse-bouche; complex enough to challenge, small enough not to overwhelm, and most importantly a delight.

Reviewed on: 26 Jul 2010
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A woman is waiting for her lover. The little girl she is taking care of is playing. When the young man arrives, the little girl decides to explore the park.
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Director: Joyce Nashawati

Writer: Joyce Nashawati

Starring: Agathe Bonitzer, Ulysse de Gregorio, Christophe Lemaire, Rubis Loyzance

Year: 2009

Runtime: 9 minutes

Country: France


EIFF 2010

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