17th ÉCU
The European Independent Film Festival 2022 

8th - 10th April 2022 
Interview

Ran Slavin 
6480 Days

Section: Experimental Film
ecufilmfestival.com

18 years into the future (6480 Days) following the onslaught of a virus world wide, a Hong Kong citizen reflects on life in the world before he was born, before the pandemic, while reflecting on the advent of dreams shaping reality. In ‘6480 Days’ a dystopian reality is examined from the perspective of a stream of consciousness and a distant probability where for the protagonist of the film who’s voice is only heard, the ordinary world is a utopian dream stemming from a series of imagined flashbacks.

Hey Ran, thank you for talking to The New Current, how have you been holding up during these very strange times?

 

Im ok, thanks, but it’s been a challenging 2 years, so much bad changes, and now this evil senseless Russian invasion into the Ukraine, its heart wrenching to see all the suffering and immigration. So aggravating. I hope somehow, Russians will find a way to overthrow this maniac. Sorrowful and overwhelming. How human kind wilfully destroys itself instead of choosing a path of understanding and a healthy sustainable relationship with nature. So much pointless infliction of suffering is sickening. It could be a paradise. 

 

Has this time offered you any new creative inspiration or opportunities?

 

I don’t leave the house/studio much, and so Im working on many projects in parallel. Because reality seems to constantly degrade, especially in Tel Aviv where I'm currently at, and because the winter was colder than usual. Lucky I live near the beach, love the beach. Exploring lots of beautiful new music constantly and also working on a fat new artist book to be published and distributed by Mousse publication (in Milan) with international distribution. 

 

Congratulations on having 6480 Days part of the 17th ÉCU Film Festival, what does it mean to you to be screening your film in Paris?

 

Screening in Paris is great but so is anywhere else. ÉCU is a very friendly festival and their vibe is nice and supportive, especially since winning best actress there in late 2018 (Mami Shimazaki) for my previous feature Call for Dreams.

6480 DAYS ran slavin poster 3.jpeg

"It is hard to make films, and most the time you will end up spending more than earning, and will need to depend on all sorts of strangers and their money."

Can you tell me how 6480 Days came about, what was the inspiration behind your screenplay and what was the message you wanted to convey with this film?

 

I was in Hong Kong showing a huge video installation “Newtopia” screened on the Tsim Sha Tsui Centre at the Empire Centre at the harbour. I had spare time and  a camera. I was walking around exploring Hong Kong and some of its nearby Islands, learning of its past and history, mythology, tea shops and ancient temples. Later, only when Lockdown kicked into affect in Israel is when I opened the material and started browsing what I shot. All of the reports about corona were coming from China and Hong Kong's democracy was shook due to its return to mainland China. Israel was also in turmoil and riots and demonstrations were an everyday event in order to kick out the old government and prime minister especially. 

The film is about someone who hopes that his dream of a better world might actually bleed into reality and change it. 

This is the message, pretty straight forward and it is within the films voice over.  

As the pandemic seems everlasting god forbid, it is under these circumstances and atmosphere that "6480 Days" was born. A scenario where the disruptive pandemic is around for 18 years and and for someone who is just born in this time, it is the only reality he knows. Any other life is a distant utopian dream. And so the short film is a sort of retro flashback of imagined memories of normality.  

When working on a film like this how close are you able to keep to your script once you start filming, do you allow yourself much flexibility?

 

Total flexibility. I don’t even work with a script. I script the film in editing.

 

What has been the biggest challenge you've faced bringing 6480 Days to life and looking back is there anything you would have done differently on this film?

 

Im quite OK with the outcome, otherwise I would have altered it. 

 

Where did your passion for filmmaking come from?

 

When I was a young boy we had 2 channels on a black and white TV where you had to adjust a manual antenna that was bent from a coat hanger to see anything. That was TV in Jerusalem. One of the channels was VHF in bad reception picked up from Jordan and the other was the only local channel. On it I watched all of the John Wayne and Clint Eastwood westerns and 70’s crime thrillers as well as American TV shows such as "Barretta", "Kojak", "Hawaii Five-O" and many other cult classics such as "Dallas", Steve Austin "The Million Dollar Man", "Road Runner", "PopEye" and "Scooby Doo" animations, I guess  my passion started there. In the 80’s as a teenager in London I also had a black and white TV in my squat and I remember seeing "Eraserhead" and "Bladerunner" which blew my mind too. The world seemed then like a mysterious strange place with dark secrets ready to unfold in secret corners, if you knew where to look. I think this sort of stuff may reflect in my work.

 

How much has your approach to creating your films evolved since your debut film?

 

That's a question for others to say. I am too critical of myself anyhow so I would say I probably degraded. But to be honest, sometimes I watch my past work and cannot believe I did it, it's like watching somebody else’s work. I wonder of I’m under hypnosis most of the time, or sleep walking unconscious. I see my work as journeys into various stories, junctions, elements and esthetics that interest me at a certain point in time and it varies from visual art to films and also sound tracks. But to answer the question to evolve and to branch out a-new is what I look forward to and so every project has its own specific demand.

Do you think filmmakers should continue to push the boundaries of the stories they want to tell?

 

Yes I do, otherwise the medium will die or bore us to death. Already it's very hard to find original and surprising films or series to watch. 

For anyone out there thinking about getting into filmmaking do you have any tips or advice you would offer them? 

 

It’s hard to make films and most the time you will end up spending more than earning, and will need to depend on all sorts of strangers and their money. If I have one tip it would probably be don’t make any films. There are too many of them as it is. Make films only if you can’t help it.

 

And finally, what do you hope people will take away from 6480 Days?

 

I hope it will open doors and scramble views of perception, time, place and consciousness. I want my films to be the drug. I hope it will be a 5.37 minute endlessly enchanting experience, like a trance, a blissful spell and trigger inward to make a better world for tomorrow. Art will save us all. Amen.