Almost every day of the year, our brains are inundated with a near constant flood of adrenal stimuli induced by social media or Los Angeles traffic patterns or the inevitable social pressures of being a functioning person in the twenty-first century. The horrors of modernity are ubiquitous and unrelenting, but today– and only today– there is nothing more satisfying than to allow oneself to feel that impending feeling of doom to its fullest extent. On Halloween, we get to indulge ourselves in that strangeness, to reach out and feel its great and terrible dimensions and hold it close to us like a grotesque little pet. Today, allow yourself to feel horrified. Today, stoke that feeling even further by watching writer and director Nathalia Pizarro’s brilliant new short, “Essere Amato.”
Starring Moon Unit Zappa, Dallas Jay Hunter, and Julie Mintz, “Essere Amato” calls on Chopin and Brahms to quicken the nerves, and utilizes film noir techniques to harken spookier, complex shots reminiscent of old-Hollywood. Throughout the film, Pizarro expertly toys with themes of estrangement and motherhood with a Lynchian deliberateness that coaxes inherent sentiments of desperation and a near animalistic fear to the forefront of the psyche.
The short, which premiered at Brooklyn Film Festival, L’ Etrange Film Festival and Brooklyn Horror, is available online as a Director’s Cut for the first time since its many celebrated showings. Malibu-based Pizarro is the CCO of Manimal Vinyl Records and Entertainment Group and founder of the New American Picture Show. She’s creatively directed releases for high-profile stars among the likes of Yoko Ono, Duran Duran, and David Bowie. Nathalia is slated to go into production on her debut feature “1996” in January of 2024.