Runtime: 21 minutes
Director/Writer: Nora Longatti
Actors: Agathe Lecomte, Barbara Kurth, Fhunyue Gao, Julian Gyphens, Jeff Nsingi Ambassi, Yevgenia Korolov
By Juli Horsford
Chute is twenty-one minutes long. There are several intriguing aspects about Chute and one of them is that there is almost no dialogue at all. We witness some muffled background conversations that are incomprehensible and a phone call with a lady on the street. The main character, whose name we never learn, tends to fall asleep in odd places without warning. The first time it happens, she is walking on the sidewalk next to some apartment buildings and drops to ground as if she’s been shot. For the first half of the short, you’ll be trying to piece together exactly what’s happening.
Narcolepsy came to mind after the initial shock of seeing her drop to the floor sporadically wore off. There doesn’t seem to be any specific pattern for when she hits the deck. But the scenes that unfold after she collapses are the truly odd part of the movie. Strangers seem to have varied reactions to her. Some are concerned and try to rouse her. Others accept that she has collapsed quite easily and embrace her. Still others ignore her as she lays seemingly unconscious on the ground. At its core, Chute is about the connection strangers can have and the unending search for intimacy that can bring people together.
Director Nora Longatti uses long shots to show the main character alone in a large world. People go about their day each engrossed in their own lives and unaware of her. When she collapses, Longatti has the camera creep in for a tighter framing of the main character and the person she collapses onto. This camerawork helps reinforce the idea of searching for intimacy and somehow finding it in strangers.
The final frames of the movie call into question the main characters’ motives and authenticity. Is it a condition she suffers from? Or is it all a ploy to gain attention (and sympathy) from strangers she hopes to connect with? Chute explores the performative nature of relationships and the universal search for connection to perfection with an unconventional approach.