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Auricular Confession - short film review

★★★★

Directed by: #MartinDelCarpio

Written by: #MartinDelCarpio

Starring: #EstebanLicht

Film Review by: Bruna Foletto Lucas




As the title of the film suggests, Auricular Confession is a film which has religion and spirituality as its central theme. In what seems to be a very personal project the director Martin Del Carpio allows the audience an insight into the mind of the character, beautifully played by Esteban Licht.

At times a dancer, at times a Plague Doctor, Licht is almost an ephemeral entity. The multiple images of this man are explored together with Christian imagery and overlaying, double exposure shots of Licht, which not only are visually beautiful, but they also help convey the feeling of the short. These images represent the duality of life and death, especially when the actor wears the Plague Doctor mask; but the voices we hear praying Hail Mary tells us a different story – maybe this is his confession at the face of death, almost like a goodbye where the character relives his life in 10 short minutes and sanctifies himself.

The meaning of the film, unfortunately, shall remain particular to each viewer, as it is the case of such experimental films. Perhaps this is the most exciting thing about this short, it might speak of the viewers’ innermost feelings as they read and interpret the film with their own subconscious understanding of life, rather than the film feeding us its own version.

Despite this uncertainty about the meaning of the film, one thing is certain: it works well as what it proposes to be. Del Carpio succeeds in creating a thought-provoking film which is also entertaining. Many times experimental films such as this one fail in entertain the audience and become confusing with the amount of information they try to convey. Here, Del Carpio is simple with his images and together with William Murray (director of photography) create an eerie atmosphere that is almost like a character in itself.

Another important element that should be mentioned here is the work with sound – as the images are equally eerie, the sound is what dictates the mood of each sequence. Craig Levy plays with the nuances of sound and sometimes the lack thereof on top of the montages rather than making use of the diegetic sound. The sound is above everything else, not even when the character is supposed to be conducting an orchestra does the sound match with the images – deepening even more the sense of uneasiness.

Auricular Confession is a film that will linger on your mind – whether that is a good thing or not it depends on the viewer!