In Conversation with Filmmaker Bruno Decc, Carpe Aeternitatem at ASFF 2015

Brazilian filmmaker Bruno Decc’s short Carpe Aeternitatem (Filme Filmes) screened as part of the ASFF 2015 Official Selection, in the Experimental strand. The film narrates events that underlie the decision of a futuristic man between perishing or living indefinitely. The languages spoken in the film are Attic Greek, an ancient type of Greek spoken in Socrates’ era, and Futurese, an evolutional projection of the English language developed by the linguist Justin Rye. We interview the filmmaker about his practice.

A: Carpe Aeternitatem explores the tension between the past and the future. What bearing do these opposing elements have on the central conflict between death and immortality?
BD: The presence of distant past and future settings allows for the observation of the different ways in which death has been faced throughout history. This signals the constant transformation of values in society over time. Death as liberation, the idea held by Socrates in ancient times, is the genesis of the ideal of immortality held by the Future Man. They are linked together as they both pursue the essence of the human existence, and that pursuit has been more lasting than moral codes, beliefs or language.

A: This is a linguistically complex film. How are the linguistic intricacies significant to Carpe Aeternitatem?
BD: They’re significant as an exploration of the theme of cultural impermanence, which is structural to the film. We chose to portray a dead language (Attic Greek) and a language that doesn’t yet exist (Futurese) in order to depict how drastically culture can evolve. The notions I tried to make clear are: morality and language change over time, nothing is absolute, and history will transform cultural aspects we believe immutable. There’s still a great ideological resistance to this motion as most people pursue hegemonic and permanent ways of living, so presenting the bizarreness of language evolution was a way of transforming the audience’s perception. I believe that society should be more progressive and accepting of changes in societal behaviour, and I hoped that the film could raise awareness of this.

A: As a filmmaker, what is it about the medium of short films that interests you?
BD: Shorts films are the ultimate exercise of synthesis and efficiency. Even though feature films should ideally be based on this same paradigm, it’s is indispensable for a good short film to present carefully designed scenes that communicate all necessary themes, while based on a truly adaptable and resilient production strategy. Mainly because of budget restrictions, it becomes an intricate game of constructing a symbiosis between form and structure. It couldn’t be more fun – in the profound, non-hedonistic sense of the word.

A: What was it like screening your film at the Aesthetica Short Film Festival?
BD: There was an ever present exhilarating sensation in being part of it. The quality level of the selected films was very high, which gave me a sense of pride and joy. The exhibitions where precise and reliable.

A: What were your highlights at ASFF 2015?
BD: I would personally highlight the Animation film category, which was of amazing quality this year. One of the sessions was so intense it just made me want to take a walk and reflect upon life and existence. Also, thumbs up for the parties and the nice, attentive crew organizing the festival.

For more information, visit www.filmefilmes.com.

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Credits
1. Still from Bruno Decc’s Carpe Aeternitatem (2014).