Duality of Ecstasy

 

Words by Christine Spiteri

Duality of Ecstasy

The Duality of Ecstasy captures the complexity of human emotion through mime and rhyme. The new short film from Maltese director Keith Albert Tedesco explores the extremes that elevate us and estrange us into ecstasy through a series of vignettes interwoven with French narrative.

Ecstasy derives from Ancient Greek (ékstasis), meaning ‘outside of oneself’, and is an intense personal experience of total involvement. “I was always told to write what I know best. So, I just started jotting down things that give me a feeling of ecstasy. Originally, the list was sex, drugs…but then I went off on a tangent, because it really is so much more. Like the electric pull of a loved one’s hand, meeting a stranger’s gaze, devouring a plate of food when in a desperate state of hunger,” he says. 

Duality of Ecstasy


“Yours may differ to mine. It’s a very personal feeling. Ecstasy.”

It took three days for Tedesco put the idea together, rope in a cast, production team, and shoot. His drive and ambition are contagious, and those invited to be part of the project required little convincing. “I like to work with people who really love what they do. The passion will always be there, even when the money runs out.” He played a role in every aspect of the short, from scripting the dialogue, to casting, and shooting, describing the entire creative process as an ‘experiment’. “Once I wrote the dialogue, I let it see where it took me. It was the narration that guided the visuals.”

Tedesco explains how a good story can be conveyed no matter the language. In fact, he first became drawn to film after watching a movie in Danish. “I was an Erasmus-exchange student in Copenhagen, and when I noticed the class was assigned a movie in Danish, I figured I had walked into the wrong lecture theatre. But I was too embarrassed to leave. By the end of it, I hadn’t understood a single word, but I was so moved, that I cried,” he recounts. “I was so intrigued by the power inherent in good storytelling that I became fixated on film. In fact, I feel my main language is film, my second one is English. Through that experience, I learnt that film is not merely just about being entertained, film is a medium to preserve culture, build relationships, fortify emotions. And this is what we set out to achieve with Ecstasy,” he says. 

Keith Albert Tedesco is a Maltese film director and scriptwriter based in Hilversum, Netherlands. His work largely deals with capturing Maltese culture through story and aims to cement Malta’s identity in film. Since graduating in Film and Media at the University of Copenhagen, he has directed four short films: Him & Her (2015), Ambivalent (2015), In The Name of Bjorn (2016), mov bak plijz (2017), and For Ava (2017). Tedesco’s feature-length film titled Uwijja (2022) gained international recognition as well as a global video on demand (VOD) release on Apple TV. His upcoming production, Ciao Ciao, is due for release in early 2025.

 

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