Friday, September 02, 2011


D: Juan Pablo Zaramella, Argentina, 2007, 3 minutes

 Juan Pablo Zaramella's animated shorts are at once profound and amusing, whether he uses clay, ink or stop-motion live action. In Lapsus, a black-and-white nun finds that living in a black-and-white world can be very dangerous indeed. Armed dialogue entirely consisting of "ohmygod!," the little nun's curiosity gets the better of her as she is transformed many times over.

In fact, this curiosity is what makes Lapsus a bit more profound that your run-of-the-mill animated video. Should a devout nun be testing such curiosity? Look what happens to her when, down to the eyeballs, she bounces back into the (white) world! Zaramella may indeed be operating with tongue-firmly-in-cheek here about Catholicism in general. We might be easy to dismiss such an argument, if a glance at some of Zaramella's other shorts did not also indicate a social agenda of sorts: while Sexteens is clearly also made as a public service announcement of a sort, there is also moralistic judgment here. The same could be said for Lapsus, who rightly gives the nun a come-uppance when, knowing what she knows, she investigates just one more time...

Zaramella's work has traveled the film festival circuit extensively; this one was featured at Sundance and won awards at his animation festivals in Hiroshima and Sao Paolo, and his new one, Luminaris, won awards at Annecy and screens this weekend at Telluride (paired brilliantly with The Artist). (Lapsus may be the only short animated film to offer a hilarious "behind the sins" short as well.)

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