Runtime: 8 minutes
Directors: Sonia Foltarz, Jake Kaplan
Writers: Sonia Foltarz, Jake Kaplan
Actors: Robert Christie, Sean Delaney, Xia Kaligh
By Joan Amenn
“Ace” (2020) is a wonderfully dark and atmospheric little tale perfectly animated in muted colours and stylized figure drawing. The setting is the “Eternity Circus” and various circus performers are costumed as playing cards. The Master of Ceremonies is brilliantly foreboding as he sets them in competition with each other to achieve a series of tasks.
It is open to interpretation as to who the Master actually is but it’s clear that the two contestants are pitted against one another in a race to achieve the most life goals and win the coveted Ace card. Various accomplishments such as owning a house appear on playing cards that the two opponents chase. There are a few ingenious plot twists that won’t be spoiled here but suffice to say, all is not as it appears.
“Ace” is a delightfully macabre tease of what directors Sonia Foltarz and Jake Kaplan could unleash if given free rein and it is to be hope they get that chance very soon.”
The accompanying score that plays throughout the film dramatically intensifies the more horrific elements of the plot. Reminiscent of how organ music was used so effectively in “Carnival of Souls” (1962), Santiago Amezquita deserves applause for his terrifically eerie original composition. It should also be noted that “Ace” was funded with the help of a scholarship from the School of Visual Arts alumni program.
In these difficult times, any support given to creative people so that they can pursue their visions should be especially appreciated. “Ace” is a delightfully macabre tease of what directors Sonia Foltarz and Jake Kaplan could unleash if given free rein and it is to be hope they get that chance very soon.
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