Interview with Danilo Godoy, Forgotten Memories from the End of the World

After a busy few days of film screenings, networking, gatherings and exploring the city of York, ASFF catch up with Brazilian director Danilo Godoy and find out about his film festival highlights, key inspirations and ongoing motivations. Winner of Best Artists’ Film with the poignant Forgotten Memories from the End of the World (2014), Godoy travelled to the UK for the film’s world premiere. His exquisite 20-minute film begins with a VHS labelled “Barcelona 1989” that carries a tragic piece of protagonist Maria’s past. While she is watching the tape a mysterious motorcycle courier appears in front of her house, and what begins as a shy observation soon becomes an uncontrolled voyeurism.

ASFF: Forgotten Memories from the End of the World won Best Artists’ Film. How important is this award for you as a filmmaker?
DG: The screening at ASFF in York was the film’s international premiere. The importance of this award is really incredible because it was the production team’s first time abroad with the film, so we didn’t actually know how people were going to react. It’s very encouraging for a filmmaker at the beginning of their career to have this kind of opportunity. Until now I couldn’t believe it! It really happened, right?

ASFF: Where did inspiration for the story come from?
DG: One day in early 2012 I woke up with a sentence in my head: “my worst memories from the end of the world”, and I wrote it down in my notebook. Then I started to think about how many people have their own personal experience of the “end of the world”. I was listening to songs by Lana Del Rey at the time, and suddenly the story of the film’s main character Maria appeared – her tragic loss and the way she has to live with it.

ASFF: Which filmmakers motivate you to make work?
DG: It’s hard to select only a few filmmakers for this question. At the moment, Paul Thomas Anderson is one of my favourites filmmakers, in the way he develop his characters and the way he uses the camera, with slow movements and a lot of long sequences – its really inspirational.
Wim Wenders for me has the great ability to make films that perfectly unite the characters with the cities they live in, whilst the Brazilian director Kleber Mendonça Filho offers a deep understanding for the culture and particularities of the city of Recife in Pernambuco, translating his considerations of the area’s historical differences of social class into very vivid and real stories.
I also greatly admire the work of Nuri Bilge Ceylan for his “mise-en-scène”, Stanley Kubrick for his own reinvention in every film, Gabriel Mascaro for his skill in transforming his characters and images into pure poetry, and Sofia Coppola for her ability to capture on camera those familiar feelings that are so hard to portray – for example her presentation of boredom as a beautiful thing when people don’t know exactly what to do in Tokyo, L.A, or even in the France of Marie Antoinette.

ASFF: In your opinion, why are film festivals like ASFF important to short film creatives?
DG: Film festivals like ASFF are so important for filmmakers because they can bring creatives together in one place. People from all over the world are present, going to venues and attending screenings. To meet other directors and see their work is the best part; to be able to talk with fellow film creatives, have enthusiastic conversations and discussions makes ASFF a place where filmmakers can develop new ideas and partnerships.

ASFF: What were your festival highlights, and were there any particular films or venues that stood out?
DG: For me the city of York itself was an amazing highlight. It has an atmosphere so intense that the experience of seeing films in such different and unusual places made the cinema experience at ASFF something completely new and different. For me, the Treasurer’s House, According to McGee and 1331 were the best locations of the festival.

ASFF: Did the festival inspire you to produce any new work?
DG: Definitely yes! I have never thought about international co-productions, but the festival and all the filmmakers attending made me believe that it is possible to mix our cultures and produce some new and interesting ideas. I’m currently working on a documentary about how technology transformed the way people communicate with each other. During ASFF I always had my notebook with me and at each intermission I was writing new ideas for this new work. I believe that this is one of the best things for a filmmaker – when you are able to see a wide selection of films, talk to the directors, understand how their work was created and finally share your own ideas.

Additional information on Danilo Godoy, can be found at www.danilogodoy.com.br.

For more details on Forgotten Memories from the End of the World, visit www.facebook.com/minhaspioreslembrancas.

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Credits
1. Danilo Godoy, Forgotten Memories from the End of the World (2014). Courtesy of the director.