Claudia Acosta and Pierre Waucquez: “Last Breath” In The Poetics of Space

This film began when my sister, my brother, and I made the decision to demolish the house we grew up in. For me, this house was the small piece of land I had from a country I had left more than 20 years ago and the place where the presence of my lost parents still remained. They had built it with their own hands and ended their days there. This house would soon disappear, taking its secrets and memories with it. We, therefore, wanted to give a look to this being of bricks, void, and light and thus allow it to gather the steps of its memory. We created sets to enhance the plastic dimension of this empty place. With patience, childhood memories began to populate the solitude of the space and compose the phantasmagorical backdrop of the film. Among them, my mother’s sewing machine, a migratory bird (the tingua azul), the belief in wandering souls, and a goat that came from a suspended time will be the vector of memory and the privileged witness of the last breath of this house. To record the decision taken between us, a witness-moderator established a thread through questions whose answers revealed what this act of demolishing our childhood home represented in our eyes. This recording will be the dramaturgic core of the film. Between documentary and fiction, Último Soplo is a tribute to my childhood, which, as Rainer Maria Rilke said, is my only home.

What are the most challenging aspects of being a filmmaker?

Considering how long it takes to make a film, the greatest challenge is to keep going without losing the primary desire that made us start. Do not give up in front of so many obstacles, especially when you have a tight budget.

What is your source of inspiration for this short film?

The work of the philosopher Gaston Bachelard “The Poetics of Space” is about the capacity of houses to contain our dreams, our memories. -The film « Bruegel, The Mill and the Cross » by Lech Majewski because of its corridors between painting, life, and death.

Claudia Acosta
Pierre Waucquez

What is the theme of this film?

A childhood home

How do you decide on possible ways to promote your film when you are on a tight budget?

Targeting festivals and looking for new platforms that promote new and independent filmmakers e.g. “Tenk” in the case of documentaries. -We are also looking for other venues than cinemas for screenings. For example, for our film, we are planning to organize screenings in places awaiting demolition.

How important do you think distribution is in today's marketplace?

Highly important. In the case of short-films, it has to evolve to find a wider space in the cinema, television, platforms, and other events than the festivals. Unfortunately, for an independent film made with a tight budget, it is almost impossible to be shared with cinema audiences.

For those considering self-distribution, what is your advice?

It depends on the relationship you have with the film you have made and how far you want to go. The mechanisms of distribution are very different from those of making a film and to venture into distribution has the risk of loosing the courage and the time needed to start the next one.

How significant do you think short films are for someone venturing into directing films?

For us, making a short film is not just a step in the evolution of a career. By the way, it is difficult to tell a story in a short time and go further into the simplicity of cinematographic language. One of our favorite films is Pier Paolo Pasolini’s “Cosa sono le nuvole” and it is a short film.

What was the worst challenge of your career so far? How did you take it over?

Finding money to make the film we dreamed of. For this film, we decided to use our own money and to make ourselves the editing. We had also the valuable help of some friends.

What are the factors to making a good film?

Find the right images you want to share. Find the right people who follow you into the adventure.

Is there anything you would change if you could go back to the beginning?

We would take more time to film. We would have more confidence in the primary impulses at the origins of the project and sometimes abandon out during the making of the film.

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