Morphine, tales and chicken stock

London, late-June 2016. End of an era? Portrait of a free spirit and three ways of dealing with things.

  • Jasminka Letzas
  • Jasminka Letzas
  • Riccardo Mini
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Short
  • Runtime:
    5 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    August 1, 2016
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • London Experimental Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    October 17, 2016
Director Biography - Jasminka Letzas

Born and bred in Berlin, Jasminka is now London based since 2000. Trained at Central St Martins and National Film and Television School she produces independent work and collaborates with other filmmakers, actors, musicians and performance artists.

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Director Statement

“Morphine, tales and chicken stock” is a framed portrait of a free spirit living in London.

The main character potters around the kitchen, cooking a dish, he concocts existentialist musings in a state of altered consciousness on the balcony and he falls asleep on the bed whilst watching something on his laptop. All in the middle of the day, hinting to a non-conformist lifestyle.

His foreign accent suggests that he immigrated to the UK. The date stamp “end of June 2016” implies that the referendum and its results have started painting a question-mark over his future here. His stay could soon be restricted by work visa or minimum income requirements.

I wanted this film to be a celebration of alternative lifestyles. I have used a slight vintage look in the colour grading to symbolise that this sort of free spirit could soon become an endangered species. The vignettes underline this effect as well as emphasising the portrait nature of the film.
I have chosen the triptych format to show a varied picture of the character's life. Additionally the three streams can be interpreted as three reactions to the events: one of trying to stay awake but falling asleep, the other of continuing as before with habits and chores and the third of falling into, partly existentialist, musings and judging the situation: “As for everything else – is pretty much fucked up.”

The subtitles are an integral part of the film. Aside from their practical purpose to better understand when the character mumbles, they also underline his foreignness, his difference in attitude to life: Almost as if he spoke another language.

London's liberal spirit, it being a very open, inclusive, divers and pluralist place has drawn me in 16 years ago. In recent years I have been noticing a shift and current political events let me question for how long it will still be this place. For how long will it still attract and tolerate alternative lifestyles and free spirits? These are the questions I tried to subtly address in this film.