Known for a cinema that tackles social issues via the fiction and documentary feature form, it’s after the release of his debut fiction feature in Unicorns (2023) that Àlex Lora Cercós took one more step back into the short form to tackle the implications of social hierarchy and wealth gets accumulated and not distributed. The idiom of one man’s trash (or recyclable goods) is another man’s treasure rings true here but this moves the needle into a more nuanced unsafe zone. A black comedy about social hierarchy that we witnessed Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite, we witness how muscle power exists for the those who are better off and once a bidding war ensues in the most original of manners we reconsidered if there are indeed choices to be made or had. A complex tale about who ultimately gets the upper-hand or the shaft is what makes The Masterpiece (La Gran Obra) such a savvy, nuanced, and precise short that re”frames” each step along the way. Think a Western stand-off with dialogue and cunning.
Selected for the 2024 Sundance Film Festival where it claimed the top award in the Short Film Grand Jury Prize, in my sit down Cercós we got to chat about what were the circumstances that drew him to the project, touched upon some of the film’s mechanics and concluded with the next project he is working on – a feature drama discussing more social issues.