#SHORTVIEW: “Getting Fat in a Healthy Way” by Kevork Aslanyan

Synopsis:

In a world where gravity is weak and skinny people fly into the sky, Constantine has never left the apartment he shares with his father Atanas. But one day the beautiful stewardess who moves into the building will change Constantine’s life forever.


FIGHTING FOR THE FUTURE


> Your short film sets its background on the communist “bloc” – why do you think so many Bulgarian films choose this as their background?

Most of us, meaning by that those who have lived in Bulgaria, have lived in that kind of buildings before. This is quite normal for us, and that’s why, when we imagine the stories of the middle class, they’re always going to live in a bloc, or in a village. The higher class people often live in fancy houses, and mansions, and that kind of stuff – but who’d want to watch the lives of that people anyway? They don’t have any interesting problems.

> You’ve said before that the change in gravity that your short film portrayed could be considered a commentary on Bulgarian society as a whole.

I think you could translate it like this: most of the Bulgarian people that fought in the communist times, they fought for democracy, but the democracy that has resulted has not been the one that they dreamed of, so they’re not happy right now. So now, they look at the communist times with a sort of nostalgia, because all of us have some kind of nostalgia for our own past, it’s something that you can apply to every generation. The fathers are always nostalgic about the past, while the children are always fighting for the future.

> Why do you think Bulgarian films are so interested in meetings between strangers?

You know, ten years ago, you wouldn’t be able to see so many different people from all over the world coming to Sofia. Nowadays, you could walk through Vitosha street and see people from Britain, Portugal, Spain, the USA, China, Russia, everywhere. That’s the reason why, I think, when people start writing stories now, they don’t think of the Bulgarian people from ten years ago – they think of the current people, the new situation. It’s a kind of mixture now.

> Before being a filmmaker, you were an editor – how was the jump to the directing chair?

I was pretty naive, because I thought that, by being an editor, I’d be able to know how to do everything else, but this was the first time that I had to shoot myself. When I started editing, things got pretty crazy. It’s a problem when you don’t want to harm your cuts, because you want to put everything that you shot into the film, but there’s no point in that, you know, screw that, it was cool shooting it, but you have to cut that stuff down.

> The aesthetic of your film shows some clear aesthetic influences, but decides to deal with its story in a different way. What is your take on inspiration?

You know, I think that every creator has this feeling, this inner thought when you’re watching something, and you think, “if they changed this and this, it’d be so much better”. But at the end, everyone has to make their own decisions, and there will always be a better way to do things, especially if you look at it from the outside.

But I think that it only happens to us people who create things. The general people usually take what they’re given, and usually enjoy it much more. Maybe we should do the same, haha.


At the point of the interview, Kevork was working in a feature film script that he could not disclose yet, and declared that “the future is unpredictable”.