A jaded nobleman voraciously feeds off the spiritual energy of planet Earth, endangering the very fabric of space and time.
Can our hero escape the consequences of the ultimate rebirth?
Peoples of the Earth, beware of Duke Cosmico: you are what he eats.
Cosmico is a short animation film by C.J. Lazaretti. Made in the cut-out style of Terry Gilliam's seminal vignettes for Monty Python's Flying Circus, it takes an irreverent look at religion, the universe and other existential creature comforts. Not bad for a three-minute short, huh?
"All your questions about religions answered in three minutes."
"Uproarious religious humor...original and ingenious."
"Delectable absurdity...provocative and controversial."
—UK Film Review
"Unique...great visuals, music and style."
"Cosmico is one of those things you don't forget."
—Matt Willis-Jones, filmmaker
"Cosmico really made me laugh. I loved it."
—Francis Macdonald, Teenage Fanclub
—Aimie Willemse, director, Infinite Studios
"A stupendous satire...not fit for the religious."
"Irreverent, outlandish and fun."
—Louis Hunter, director, Deep in the Heart Film Festival
"I'm not religious, this didn't offend me."
—Vulture Hound Magazine
"A smart reference to religion."
—10th Athens Animfest
AS SEEN ON CHANNEL 4
Cosmico was among the 11 finalists nominated for the Professional Short Film Award at the inaugural Liverpool Irish Festival's Celtic Animation Film Competition on October 22nd, 2017. C.J. Lazaretti was in attendance at the one-day short film showcase, held at the 81 Renshaw café and arts venue in central Liverpool.
The event included international gems such as William Côgo's endearing Native American fable The End of the Line and the hilarious satirical critique of Going Ape, a French animation by Nicolas Lesaffre and Charles Blanchard.
Further demonstration of the power of animation to confront timely issues came from Silvia Carpizo's The Neverending Wall, a rich allegory of xenophobic hysteria animated from graffiti currently on display at the remains of the Berlin Wall. (more)
Television is what he eats! Channel 4 has featured Cosmico on Random Acts, an innovative, curated platform for experimental short films.
C.J. Lazaretti's multiple-award-winning short film is in excellent company, next to Anna Ginsburg's Private Parts, an ingenious animated documentary examining taboos that surround female sexuality, as well as Jack Scott's Jam!, an uncompromising masterpiece of indulgent sinfulness made for celluloid competition Straight 8. Viewer discretion is definitely not advised.
Watch Cosmico on Random Acts
Cosmico was nominated for three awards at the 2017 Red Dirt Film Festival in Stillwater, Oklahoma. It screened at the Vivia Nail Locke Theatre on March 5th after being invited to submit by the event's directors. The categories? Best Animation, Best Art/Experimental and Best Comedy — a first for the film.
¡Madre de Dios! Cosmico won an award at the Paura Film Festival in Valencia. The screening, on January 23rd, was the film's Spanish premiere. (more)
Film blog EvilBrain666.com covered the festival, and interviewed C.J. Lazaretti about Cosmico's reception in the film festival circuit and the influences behind it. How's your Spanish?
Duke Cosmico's second coming (to Glasgow) took place on December 15th, 2016, at the celebrated Glasgow Film Theatre. The screening was part of Blueprint: Scottish Independent Shorts, a quarterly showcase produced in partnership with the Glasgow Short Film Festival. After the screening, C.J. Lazaretti joined other Scottish-based filmmakers for a Q&A. (more)
The 2016 Tuzla Film Festival hosted the national premiere of Cosmico in Bosnia and Herzegovina on October 15th, at the prestigious National Theatre of Tuzla. It was the film's second screening in Eastern Europe, following the Serbian premiere at the Experimental Superstars Festival in 2015. Other films in the bill included Axel Zeltser's horror short Tetras and Michele Leonardi's Mia, a slice-of-life tale of jealousy and devotion. (more)
Best Animated Film and Best International Short: those were the laurels that Duke Cosmico brought back from the 2016 Austin Revolution Film Festival. C.J. Lazaretti attended the event in Texas, between September 20 and 24, joining fellow filmmakers for a Q&A, red carpet photo ops, after-parties, the whole shebang. (more)
After hosting the Scottish premiere of Cosmico in August, 2015, short film showcase Café Flicker has featured it on its promo video:
Organized by Glasgow charity GMAC, Café Flicker is a monthly open screen for independent short films. Other movies featured in the trailer include Calum Weir's comedy Casting Session, Aaron Bird's BBC3 The Fear horror competition semi-finalist entry What it Wants and the hilarious puppet short What's Opera Wagner? by George Glover.
London newspaper Hackney Citizen dedicates more than half a page to their review of Cosmico. Film critic Oliver Zarandi interviewed director C.J. Lazaretti on the polarizing effect the short has had on audiences, discussing the right to shock and the movie's creative process in a concise article that is as informative as it is short. Pick up your free copy of issue 75 (January, 2016) and look for it on page 18, or check it out in the newspaper's digital edition
Duke Cosmico said goodbye to 2015 in defiant style with a screening at the Experimental Superstars Film Festival in Novi Sad, Serbia, on December 19th. For its Serbian premiere, Cosmico shared a bill at the Šok Gallery with Scott Barley's Hunter and Mark Wee's The Animals, among other international provocateurs. (more)
The body of Christ is what he eats! The city of Corpus Christi, Texas, was the location of the US premiere of Cosmico on December 5th, as part of the 2015 South Texas Underground Film Festival. C.J. Lazaretti joined a roster of independent filmmakers for a busy week of screenings, Q&As and after-parties. Many after-parties. (more)
A destroyer of worlds: that's what Vulture Hound Magazine calls Cosmico. Film critic Sebastian Hayes sees a message that "isn't difficult to decipher" in the short, conveyed by a show-don't-tell approach that benefits the film's controversial religious overtones. (more)
Praising the movie's "quick fire gags" and "delectable absurdity", website UK Film Review has posted its own appreciation of Cosmico. Editor Chris Olson ascribes the short film to a tradition of "throwback animation and comedy style" that still manages to "amaze and astound", despite the industry's current vogue for 3D modeling and expensive CGI. (more)
Suffer the little children! Film collective Exploding Cinema screened Cosmico as part of their Kids Show at the 2015 Supernormal Festival in Braziers Park, Oxfordshire, on August 8th. That's right, a children's show. (more)
The Duke takes a walk on the Clyde side! GMAC's celebrated Glasgow short film night Café Flicker hosted the Scottish premiere of Cosmico on August 6th. C.J. Lazaretti, now a Glasgow resident, was in attendance for a Q&A. (more)
Film magazine The Spread has published a review of Cosmico. After watching it several times, editor Cameron Johnson called the film "an original and ingenious piece of smart entertainment", in an in-depth review that pays great attention to Cosmico's controversial religious content and the reactions it has elicited in its many international screenings. (more)
Cosmico won its first award at the Animation Marathon showcase of the 10th Athens Animfest, on March 28th. The competition? 243 films from around the world. Now that's what I call a marathon! (more)
It's official: Cosmico is a philosophical comedy. Or so say the East German crackpot perverts at the 23rd Contravision Film Festival, where the film had its second screening of the month on March 22nd. (more)
Three festivals ten days? Piece of cake, if you live in outer space. Cosmico lands in Dresden on March 20th for the 2015 International Noncommercial Animation Festival BEAR. (more)
The second coming is upon us! Cosmico had its UK premiere on September 2nd at the 19th Portobello Film Festival in London. Once again, it was nominated for an award. (more)
Cosmico had its world premiere on June 4th, 2014 at the Hamburg International Short Film Festival. It was nominated for an award, too! (more)
C.J. Lazaretti is a film and video editor based in London, UK. Since his film debut co-editing the documentary The Gospel According to St Derek by director Andy Kimpton-Nye, he has worked mostly on British short film projects.
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Cosmico is now available on Channel 4's Random Acts. Watch the full film online.