At first glance Egg looks like a dark erotic fantasy about a woman’s obsession. An intimate voice-over tells the story of a woman locked at home, who is both attracted to and scared of an egg. As the story unfolds it becomes clear that the woman is describing her struggle with anorexia. She eats the egg, she repents, she kills it. She lets the egg die of hunger. Egg is a poetic short film based on a small yet significant moment of my own life. Despite its topic, it is a symbolic film that many people will be able to identify with. It is a story about taking control over something you are afraid of, and then failing. It portrays a moment of shame, defeat, and yet of victory. I wrote the story in 2013 and felt uncomfortable reading it to others, so the first draft of the film was very abstract. I always wanted the film to be extremely clean and slightly disgusting. I sort of cleaned it. It is still uncanny and quite disturbing, but it became more personal, less serious, and a bit silly. Egg is poetic, metaphorical, and not overtly factual; it uses space, geometry, and volume as active elements of narration to depict a journey within the mind of the character rather than a description of symptoms. The ancients believed that food-related pleasure came through touch rather than taste, because pleasure is derived through the contact of the food with the lining of the throat. This was one of the main sources of inspiration for the staging of the story.Animation is constructed. It is distanced from reality, which allows the audience to picture what is not visible: the pressure of the moment, the tense relationship with the egg, the feeling of drowning in my own mental illness. I mean the walls of my house obviously never really moved, I didn’t swallow the egg in one piece, and I didn’t sink in the apartment. But the lack of realism does not seem to detract from the enjoyment people experience when engaging with the film. By the way, there is nothing untrue in Egg. The production of Egg, from the writing through to post-production took around 3 years. It was mainly animated frame by frame using a digital tablet and the cube is animated in computer graphic by Lars Hemmingsen. From the very beginning there was a strong focus on sound. I started working with artist and sound designer Amos Cappuccio from the first draft of the storyboard, discussing voice-over, sound, and later music.
Martina Scarpelli (IT) (1988) is an Italian filmmaker with a bachelor in Fine Art from the Academy of Brera in Milan, and a bachelor in Animation from the Experimental Cinematography Center in Turin. She participated at the European workshops ASF - Animation sans frontiers and ANIDOX. She was an artist in residency at Open Workshop in Denmark, and board member of Viborg-based Art Collective, PLASTIC. Martina’s short film Egg was awarded with a Crystal for First Film at Annecy, a Golden Dove at Dok Leipzig, a Golden Horseman at Filmfest Dresden, a Grand Jury Award at AFI Fest, and was nominated for best short film at the European Animation Awards 2018.
Director: Martina Scarpelli
Producers: Miyu Productions and Late Love Production
Sound design & music: Amos Cappuccio, Andrea Martignoni, Sofie Birch