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Natalia Curea’s short film ‘Jump’ tells the story of Alfred (played by Al Pagano), a middle-aged clown who tries to live an artistic and bohemian life in New York. He does this job for a long time, and he feels he is missing out at some point. One day he meets a former colleague who moved on with his life, and right at that moment, he starts questioning his life choices. To take the leap and find what he needs to do in life to be fully happy, he has to embrace the past, and most of all, he has to find his inner peace. In this process, the only person capable of helping him is always one step before. To find the perfect balance that can give him inner peace, Alfred must acknowledge where he’s standing and how his life has changed. The real change actually comes when the clown is willing to let loose of his big red nose.

We appreciated Al Pagano’s portrayal of Alfred, a down on his luck clown who struggles to make it through at his age. The clown may look happy, but the pure deep sadness in his eyes comes with time and unfulfilled plans. There is joy in his gestures, but the pleasure is always played, not lived. This antithetic portrayal of a character is dazzling, and Pagano proves that he is no less than a Joker who came too late for the casting.

In terms of the narrative, ‘Jump’ is balanced, beginning with the presentation of the main character, followed by the first and second encounters made to have a little backstory to work with, and then the breakdown that brings the pain and the resurrection. The little girl, the one that we would like to call ‘the voice of reason’, has a difficult role here in making Alfred realize where he’s standing, but she does it with great ease. The ending of ‘Jump’ is like a parable, reminding us of the moment when Peter Pan comes back to start living a big boy’s life. The whole journey must end, and the future is scary... but at least there is a future.

Curea’s short is a wake-up call, and you will understand why if you get to see it!

Written by Vlad A. G