Nicolas Keppens on “Easter Eggs” / interview

Born in Aalst, Belgium in 1989. After studying animation at KASK in Ghent, he took a film degree at the Luca School of Arts in Brussels. Besides working on his own projects, he is also a production manager for the Hans Op de Beeck animation studio. His short film “Wildebeest”, which he co-wrote and co-directed with Matthias Phlips in 2017, screened at numerous international festivals and was nominated for a European Film Award.

What was your starting point for “Easter Eggs”?

When I was a kid, the baker in my grandmother’s street committed suicide. He hung himself in his aviary with beautiful parrots. He left the door of the aviary open and all his colourful birds flew away. The days following to the death of this man, my older friend and I looked in the gardens around my grandmother’s house to see if we could find these birds. This was the starting point to tell something about the age we change rather fast from a child into an adolescent. Games become reality, we want to be taken serious, but no one does. 

Do you have a favourite moment in the film? Which one and why this one?

I am happy with the melancholy in the moment when Kevin goes home. The whole film, I tried to balance between this melancholy, ugliness and tenderness. I hope this resonates in the scene where he comes home and sees his parents in a tender moment, while fighting with his own emotions. The dance is followed by a scene where we see Kevin naked, with the body of an adolescent in full development. I hoped to put a mini version of the whole complexity of Kevin’s aches through the film in this scene.

What do you like about the short form?

I really like the short form as something on its own, I don’t see it as a preparation to make feature films at all. It’s something totally different. I like the idea that it can be seen on it’s own, but because of it’s length, can be shown into a context of other shorts and that way react in a direct way. It’s more a momentum and therefore, for me, closer to a painting or a poem. I often think about these moments where a pop song passes on the radio at just the right moment, and the lyrics that seemed banal before, suddenly make you intensely sad, happy, melancholic… Short film can get there, it can be this intense moment where sound, image and context fall in a place where other mediums can’t get. 

Photo © Nicolas Keppens

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