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Watch: Diametric Composition in Two Days, One Night

Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne are consistently lauded for their naturalistic brand of social realist dramas, but this video essay from Marshall Shaffer digs a little deeper, putting forth Two Days, One Night as an argument for the brothers’ masterful (and largely undiscussed) use of composition. Through varied backdrops and physical obstacles, the brothers repeatedly cleave their frames in two, reflecting the emotional discord between Sandra (Marion Cotillard) and her co-workers. The favoring of subtle and organic barriers, Shaffer argues, provides a nice contrast to the exacting compositions of Kubrick, Anderson, and other directors who are frequently cited as the gold standard.

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