“Rêverie” by Jaro Minne

Written by Shirley Baugher

"The first thing that struck me about Reverie was Jaro’s screen direction and framing. The young filmmaker (he’s only eighteen) uses the frame beautifully and with wonderful lines. He chose a wide screen format, 2:35:1, which is more difficult to shoot than most people realize. When he cuts, it is interesting to watch the lines of one shot intersect with the lines of the next. I was especially taken with the shot in which the girl is lying in the grass and the boy is photographing her from above. I also liked the shot of the girl eating the peach framed against the angle of the tree. Cutting from the children’s prelude to a kiss to the final shot in the car is very well framed—with a lot of leading space and her at a perfect angle on the edge of the frame," says Steve Weiss.  

"Minne has already developed a consistent style from shot to shot. I’m impressed with the way all of the little sound effects are coordinated into an effective overall sound design. This film has a lot of heart. In a very short period of time, it manages to capture the magic of childhood, the growth of friendship, the development of self-awareness, and the understanding that comes with establishment of a relationship. And it does so through the smiles and facial expressions of two amazing young actors: Jake Hallemeersch and Tuntunna Germonprez.  I must confess, I didn’t look at the title before I watched the film, and I didn’t realize it was a daydream. I was blown away by the ending. But also, mesmerized. Did she or didn’t she realize what had happened to her? Minne doesn’t reveal the secret. Make of it what you will. Jaro Minne, who wrote and directed Reverie, is an 18-year old Belgian filmmaker who is studying audiovisual art at the University College for Fine Arts in Ghent. This is his third short film. By its 16th day on Vimeo, Reverie had already gotten 47,000 hits.  That is impressive. Keep your eyes on this young man. He is a rising star." 

If a picture is worth a thousand words, Jaro Minne’s beautiful little film, Reverie, speaks volumes. In three short minutes, Minne takes an enchanting child on a silent journey of discovery: she meets a boy, they are caught in a daydream (reverie), they are transported through time and place, they experience the joy of childhood friendship, they develop an awareness of what their friendship might become, and they feel the disillusion of awakening—or perhaps, the silent acknowledgement of what will be. And they never say a word.

Reality shows two children in a parking lot: a boy pushing a shopping cart—a girl in a car; their eyes meet, and the girl recognize that something has changed. Filmmakers have a fascination with reverie. In 1948, Hollywood producer David O. Selznik was attracted to a fantasy novel called A Portrait of Jenny, in which a painter meets a mysterious little girl and makes a sketch of her from memory. (The little boy in Reverie takes a photograph of the girl—whose name we never know). The sketch inspires the artist to paint A Portrait of Jenny, and he is caught up in a reverie in which he encounters Jennie at intermittent intervals.

More than sixty years later, Vincent Laforet created a short film Reverie, using a New York background and music by Debussy in which a young man on a sofa imagines a beautiful woman and embarks on a dream-search for her—through the streets of New York, past its harbor, into Central Park, and back to the sofa. They meet, they embrace, they part, and they meet again. Or do they?

Chicago filmmakers Paul Hamilton and Caleb Vinson used a similar theme in their small masterpiece Spiegel im Spiegel, Dream within a Dream, which they set to the music of Arvo Part.

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