Breakfast with Duszyczka [The Little Soul]
Which techniques did you use to create the animation? How did you give form to the flesh texture?
Duszyczka is a kind of animated assemblage: it combines object, painting and clay animation techniques. I used oil-painted plasticine to get the flesh texture. Everything was sinking in oil.
Why were you interested in post-mortem soul and flesh odysseys?
I like to explore decay as an aesthetic phenomenon. In Duszyczka I wanted to combine the subject matters of decomposition and spirituality. The main inspiration for the plot was a medieval painting by Giovanni Canavesio which shows the suicide of Judas Iscariot. In the picture, we can see a little humanlike creature being extracted from a hanging body by a demon through a huge wound in the stomach. Medieval religious art depicts this miniature being as a soul. This bodily image of the soul follows the popular belief in the Middle Ages. I found it very fascinating and started to create a story of a lost and lonesome tiny creature and its longing for body physicality in a rotten, mystic world.
How important is water in Duszyczka?
Water is important because of the river. The little soul is lost in the new reality of post-mortem world but flowing water gives hope – somewhere there is the source, a beginning. The soul sets off on a journey along the river. The direction of this travel is determined by a stream. The river has killed the body. Water is one of the last earthly impressions and reminds about lost physicality.
Can you tell us more about the cross on which the heart is mounted?
The heart is actually the light that is inspired by a sanctuary lamp – a red light that shines in front of the tabernacle in church. According to the Christian belief, this lamp should be kept alight to indicate the eternal presence of the Lord. In my film, I presented the light as a living, everlasting, mystical being. When it hits the cross, the spiritual world appears. The light is a sign of a presence.
Would you say that the short film format has given you any particular freedom?
The short format gives the freedom to be more expressive and the possibility to experiment with the narration and visual aspects of the film. It is much easier to take a risk and turn even the weirdest and obscurest idea into a picture. Making short films is the best way to find your own characteristic film language. I hope I have the same freedom if the opportunity to make my first feature-length film occurs.