Intervie with Filmmaker Taso Papadakis (PORTRAITS OF INCANTATION)

PORTRAITS OF INCANTATION was the winner of BEST SOUND & MUSIC at the February 2022 BLACK & WHITE Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

At every opportunity , my father and mother took me to the museums in Athens, Greece to encounter the classical, figurative marble sculptures of ancient Western Europe and Mesopotamia.

These viewings also deeply inspired the ideas that move this short film.

In this piece, performing artist Robyn Nisbet, brings the essence of these sculptures to life in a genius way.

I feel that Robyn was invoking energy, a daring pathos, with her movement, which inspired the film’s title.
…and the full title Portraits of Incantation, because the viewer will most likely feel the photographer working behind camera in this film.

At the beginning of a collaborative effort, Robyn shared a costume idea she had recently developed, the clothing of a timeless fisherman.

She was inspired to portray a character that had “come out of a deep sea environment” onto land im order to experience.

Robyn wears this costume throughout the film in all the different locations in the world: rubber overalls, boots and the thick wool sweater of a fisherman.

It could be likened to a character out of a Hemingway novel, a Eugene O’Neill play , an Angelopoulos film.

While discovering her movement on film, I realized that it was (what I would describe as) a lyrical “rebirth” poem.
Again, like watching the gestures of classical statues come to life, a rebirth. The experience of filming the work actually happen was a deep inspiration.

The visuals are accompanied by a memorizing original musical score by Tibetan Singing Bowl Master, Emile de Leon/ Temple Sounds.

He is a seasoned Mater of the sound wave. I want to thank Emile for his score. He made it with a strong intention to the audience’s experience moment to moment.

His sound score is undeniably hypnotic, part of the “spell” experience of this film

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

About 2 months because of travel for the shoots.

3. How would you describe your film in two words!?

a prayer

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Waiting for a matter of days for the rain to stop, for the correct sun light to grace the Pont Alexandre III Bridge in Paris.

Life is good for the filmmaker if the biggest obstacle is to sit in a cafe there and wait for the light to settle….Um…okay, yes.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

Inspired by the enthusiasm and encouraged by the keen eyes and tuned ears toward the film work. Thank you everyone for watching the piece and for sharing your impressions. It’s very cool that you are allowing the films to reach in. And not only that, that you articulate the experience, beyond the surface.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

Before I realized it fully…. most likely looking through the viewfinder of my Father’s Super 8mm as a child… filming my Grandmother cooking for us
in her kitchen.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

honestly, Star Wars.

The fanciful answer would be a Bergman film.

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

I think you all are a wonderful support to filmmakers. Your attention and love for the work is palpable, motivating and appreciated.

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?

all good, every time

10. What is your favorite meal?

fresh bread, feta cheese, a tomato and olive oil, salt… a crisp white wine…sitting in a wooden chair under an olive tree in Southern Greece.

11. What is next for you? A new film?

I work with the best choreographers and post- modern dancers on the West Coast of the United States.
I’m deeply inspired by their heartful work and company. I’m working with many of them on new material and films.

I dream of working with a few specific dancers. I mail them hand-written letters sometimes… and sometimes,
they write me back, in pen.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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