The Woman with Leopard Shoes
Review by Christiana
(Raindance Film Festival)
French filmmaker and illustrator Alexis Bruchon debuted his astonishing film noir at Raindance Film Festival. Being an independent content creator reflected immensely in his latest production, as he chose to involve himself in a record number of editing and recording processes to obtain the desired product. Particularly laudable are his creative aptitudes, as well as his passion for crafting the ultimate viewing experience. Not only did he write, produce and direct “The Woman with Leopard Shoes”, but also, he was responsible for editing, camera montage, music, sound design and editing, as well as collaborating on the opening scene.
As for the introductory sequence, it illustrated a wide range of visual concepts and close-up direction, which accompanied by the marvelous black toned colour palette, uncovered an impressive film, reminiscent of the 1930s/1940s classics. The power it has in terms of reviving the Golden Age of cinema is masterful to say the least. Bruchon’s 80-minute spectacle is more than a film, it’s a veritable reincarnation of the early stages of cinema - simply sharp, ingenious and memorable. The French narration at the beginning and the almost deafening sound effects applied on the background, favor the sinister atmosphere of the film, allowing it to develop around an already immersive foundation.
“The Woman with Leopard Shoes” (originally “La Femme aux Chaussures Léopard”) presents the circumstances in which a French burglar gets stuck hiding in a house once a party unravels unexpectedly. Employed by a woman with leopard shoes whose identity remains secret, he must retrieve an object of great importance from the house, without being seen by any of the guests. When a truly bizarre event occurs, he finds himself with no way out...
Its editing techniques give depth and heart to the plot, transforming the film from a minimalist neo-noir to a project of great magnitude and gravitas. The use of overamplified audio featured in the background captures attention immediately, pointing the audience to a series of suspenseful occurrences. The tension is elegantly and effectively built out of thin air and prolonged musically, similarly to a classic French orchestra. Overall, the black and white cinematography goes perfectly with the story, production design and musical score, turning Bruchon’s feature into a timeless reinterpretation of mystery film noirs.