Thursday, November 13, 2008

Candy and Brandy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuIyDDgVL7c

Candy and Brandy

Directed by Ander Duque

Spain, 2008 - approx. 8 min.

“Candy and Brandy” documents a couple’s breakup. However, the man and woman turn into children when they have their argument. The very adult nature of the fight is juxtaposed with these innocent looking children. The result is somewhat interesting.

When I watched this short for the first time, I felt the concept was somewhat tired. It is an interesting idea to put children in adult roles. I think it points out the somewhat ridiculous nature of seriousness that we so easily fall into in out adult lives. It reminded me of a short I saw a few years ago where children played the roles of a couple getting married. That however was a comedy.

This role reversal I feel may only work in the short format. The irony may not work in a feature film. While these children are actually very convincing actors, I as a viewer cannot suspend my disbelief. I am constantly analyzing what is happening on the screen to figure out the intent of the piece. The short does not take me into a world, or suspend my disbelief for a period of time; rather I have to work with the piece to draw meaning.

The first half of the short has no dialogue. We are shown a man and a woman, separately, getting ready for a date. The man is getting dressed and the woman, already ready, is reading a magazine. It isn’t until the two then children come together that we get any dialogue. This adds a somewhat universal aspect to the piece. The Spanish is introduced when the couple begins to argue. At this point, even without the subtitles or any knowledge of the language, you could understand what was going on.

I think the way the Spanish language is dealt with in this short says a bit about the intended audience. The English subtitles are in the film itself; they were not added afterwards. Also, the title, “Candy and Brandy,” only rhymes in English. When I looked up the film, there is an alternate title, “Sugus y Brandy.” However, the title that appears in the film itself is “Candy and Brandy.” Besides the fact that it rhymes, I have to wonder if this film is meant for an English-speaking audience primarily. If that is the case, what does that say about foreign language films being created specifically for viewing outside of the nation?

Christine Barndt

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

That is interesting that this was created abroad for English-speaking people. Maybe Spanish-speakers do not appreciate short films as much as English-speakers? Or is it a mockery of Spanish-speakers when they argue- that is merely understood and found funny by English-speakers?

Anonymous said...

I am intrigued by the role reversal of children and adults. It does put a spin on the situation giving more empathy to the players.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you about not being able to suspend disbelief. These kids are great actors but it was really hard for me to forget that they were kids

Anonymous said...

I think that the symbolism of children as adults in films is often lost because of the ability to suspend disbelief. It is so frequently used these days in movies, television, and commercials, that the viewer doesn't even take the time to think about why the filmmaker made that choice.

Anonymous said...

I like the concept, I like the message, and the idea behind this work. The acting was adequate too.

But I have to say that I don't care for the camera work. It feels too forced and you really lose the feeling of the "invisible eyeball" watching the world. It feels more like a nebulous propaganda commercial.

Anonymous said...

I actually didn't really like the fact that we were given this break up through children. I feel like it played on a used idea.

Christine Barndt said...

I cracked up when I read the comment about the "nebulous eyeball." But it is an interesting point. When does the camera become obtrusive? When are we a viewers no longer able to suspend our disbelief? To add to the comment about that one, I feel like when we try and put children in adult roles, it inhibits our suspension of disbelief. It seems like we cannot take the full meaning from this film, because we are too detached.

Anonymous said...

I can't figure out why the title is in English and the rest is subtitled in Spanish. I wonder if the movie was meant for an American audience. Then the spanish-speaking audience would come second. Maybe thats why sugus y brandy is not a graphic.

Erica said...

Maybe the language was used to add another element, seeing as the title is aimed at English-speaking viewers. Spanish is a romantic language after all.

Anonymous said...

I think this is a really interesting technique. It reminds be of the Citigroup commericals that have the men and women who are victims of identity theft with different voice overs. It is interesting they decided to use this method for a breakup. It is usually as you said used with humor and to use it with such a complex plot, I don't really know if it would work.