For me, Simplicity, Beauty and Love, are three of the most important elements for a happy life. It was therefore inevitable that the new short film FAWNS by Greek director Thanasis Tsimpinis would resonate with me so strongly. The film itself premiered a few days ago at the 20th Athens International Film Festival in Greece (AIFF14) - during which, Konstantinos Koukoulios, the film's director of photography also won an award for best cinematography. Completely shot in black and white, in short, FAWNS tells a story of love between two men. It is more than a homosexual love story however. With its abstract visual imagery and heartfelt script, this could equally be a love story between two women or a woman and a man... In other words, it could be about any one of us.
The idea for the short film came to Tsimpinis from a little embroidered picture of a deer that featured on the set of his previous film, DUST (2013). Although it had nothing to do with the actual plot, this nostalgic little image caught the director’s imagination which led to him giving it its very own story. After researching into deer and the myths and stories that surround them, he finally came up with the script for FAWNS, which is based on a certain behaviour that wild deer display, albeit conveyed as an allegory for human relationships. Although the story that we hear as a voiceover, at first, seems unrelated to the images we see on the screen - gradually the allegory is exposed and the connection is made clear in a subtle and poetic way.
I love how the everyday and mundane setting of the launderette in the film contrasts against the private and intimate environment of the bedroom, where Thanasis Tsimpinis choreographed his two characters (played by Greek actor Orestis Karydas and Greek dancer Alexis Fousekis) into a sequence of bodies and limbs intertwining in slow motion, combining tenderness with passion. With Tsimpinis’ aim of 'simply' evoking beauty and making a film ''about LOVE in general'', in my humble opinion I believe that he has poignantly achieved both these goals. Moreover, the story about how the doe treats its young, combined with the dreamy, innocent and child-like sound score by Greek music composer Renos Papastavros (of MUSOU productions) evokes a sense of motherly love and innocence – a feeling that adds a new layer of meaning to the relationship between the film’s two characters: Love is too sensitive and fragile to be exposed to the hardships of the outside world. Love, if it is to remain true and deep, must always stay away from the public eye - and be a secret just for two…
So, thank you Thanasis for stirring such emotion and thought in only a few minutes of black-and-white film and reminding us of how sometimes in order to protect the ones we love, we have to let them go...
FAWNS short film by Thanasis tsimpinis, an AVION FILMS production.
CAST Orestis Karydas, Alexis Fousekis
WRITER, DIRECTOR Thanasis Tsimpinis
PRODUCER George Chorevas
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER George Tsokopoulos
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Konstantinos Koukoulios
1st ASSISTANT DIRECTOR Gioule Kolovou
PRODUCTION MANAGER Despoina Sifniadou
ART DIRECTOR Marina Carnavou
COSTUME DESIGNER Sandra Sotiriou
MAKE UP ARTIST Julien Cadieux
1st CAMERA ASSISTANT Stamatis Kouros
2nd CAMERA ASSISTANT Nikos Karouzos
GAFFER Christos Karagiorgos
KEY GRIP Vasilis Charatsoglou
PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Evros Panagidis
PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Florian Martiny
EDITOR Thanasis Tsimpinis
VFX COMPOSITOR Rousselos Aravantinos
SOUND DESIGNER Renos Papastavros
VOCALS Marietta Fafouti
GRAPHIC DESIGNER Stavros Bilionis
TRANSLATION Daphne Tsobanoglou
CAMERA EQUIPMENT Kalliroi Karamanou
LIGHTING EQUIPMENT Triantafyllos Athanasopoulos
RECORDING STUDIO Musou
DIGITAL MASTER DCS George Paidas