We Have Decided Not to Die
September 15, 2009 7:19 AM   Subscribe

We Have Decided Not to Die. A beautiful and surreal short film. (Approx. 11 minutes.) Interview with writer/director Daniel Askill. A modern day allegorical triptych, three figures undergo transformation through three rituals.

This film was mentioned in a comment 4 years ago, but that link to the full version is now dead.
posted by The Deej (9 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Superficially, I see a post-Christian aesthetic at work here, between the titular reference to immortality, the concept of rebirth, and the repeated shattering of ecstasis (the reverse splash, the car crash, the elevator seizure, the window smash).

The light and camera work are gorgeous, and I am sure there is much more to see in repeated and closer viewings of the film.
posted by idiopath at 7:52 AM on September 15, 2009

It reminds me a lot of Bill Viola - specifically, parts of the Tristan Project - does Askill mention Viola as an influence, do you know, or is this simultaneous inspiration?
posted by DNye at 7:55 AM on September 15, 2009

The Tristan Project looks cool. I honestly don't know much about Askill besides what's in the interview link.
posted by The Deej at 8:31 AM on September 15, 2009

Visually very interesting.

To be honest with you, this isn't quite my cup of tea but having said that, thank you for taking a risk and posting something besides OBAMA RULES! REPUBS SUCK!-filter and pop-culture ephemera.

MetaFilter has gotten a little stale lately. Posts like this are the reason I joined and the reason I still stick around.
posted by jason's_planet at 10:02 AM on September 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

Thanks j_p!
posted by The Deej at 1:18 PM on September 15, 2009

You're welcome!
posted by jason's_planet at 2:06 PM on September 15, 2009

Watched this with my 8 yr old. The woman had a nice swimsuit, but the floating thing was a bit weird, the car guy is cool, one of the cars must have been a bmw because of the burnout. Oh and the last guy, we saw it coming. Wonder why the glass was not thicker? And how does this act rhyme with the "not dying" part...

Nice post, should not have watched it with Elliot.
posted by kudzu at 9:53 AM on September 16, 2009

And how does this act rhyme with the "not dying" part...

From the linked interview:

Question: The third ritual, entitled "Rebirth", he's jumping out of a window. Initially, I thought, the guy is so going to die. We have Decided Not To Die - except one.

D: Yeah. In a perfect world, what I would have done with that last ritual, which is kind of in the script, is bring it to a point where, he does, more obviously, hover [outside the window] and not fall. That was my intention with the story. At the end [the film] kind of loops back through the other two rituals. We go back to the vista that it starts from and hopefully, that, combined with the title, gives the idea that he doesn't necessarily die. What exactly happens to him, I don't know.

Question: Is that why you returned at the end of the third ritual to the other rituals?

D: Yeah. I guess, hopefully to try and bring across the idea that basically all are left hovering. Obviously I didn't want to tie it down kind of too much because it is, you know, when talking about concepts of spirituality and life and death, no one really knows the answers. Maybe, in death, there is new life
posted by The Deej at 11:40 AM on September 16, 2009

Regarding the hovering, I saw this as a metaphor for ecstasy, which is an important part of Christian mystic tradition. It is the separation from self through passion. You could see a reference here to the ascension of Jesus (I draw these links not because I am or ever have been a Christian, but because Christian themes are apparently at work here).

In each of the scenes the character is in some mortal situation, with immediate threat of death, and they are saved by ascending into the sky and staying there. This, to me, is a clear metaphor for the Christian myth of redemption from sin granting eternal life.
posted by idiopath at 11:48 AM on September 16, 2009

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