“That’s All?” is a short film by Iris Amiot about a monk who finally receives the visit from divinity he has been waiting for. The short was produced as the director’s graduation project at Paris-based Institut Sainte Geneviève’s Animated Film Directing program (DNMADE Cinéma d’animation au service de la narration).
Two main characters, one of them the Creator of the Universe, internal conflicts, a staging with abundant religious elements and a focus on comedy with irreverent humor are the elements of the short.
A stylized aesthetic is employed that changes throughout the short. The director playfully employs reframing, contrasting scales of objects and stylized non-realistic staging to present the otherworldly diegesis and help deliver the narrative of the film. Film locations include exteriors (outer space, a monastery located in a rural area) and interiors (of the monastery itself). A change in aesthetic is effectively used together with sound to signal emotional displacement of the monk character (2m46).
Visual rhythm is average, handled through editing, motion within the frame, camera moves (pans, zooms) and changes in lighting. In line with the otherwordly subject, extreme long shots are frequent. Medium shots and close-ups are used to transmit the expressions of the two main characters, and especially of the conflicts of the monk.
Dialogue has a prominent role in the short. It helps present the monk’s expectations and anxieties as well as build the remarkable comedic aspect of the film that leads to an effective anticlimax. Music and sound design also play an important part in driving the story forward, building an impression of space and transmitting the supernatural elements of the short.
What makes “That’s All?” work so well? Highly creative script, otherwordly subject, playful staging with stylized aesthetic work, effective surprises and great use of comedy to portray an encounter with God.