Frédéric Even was born in Paris in April 1989. He graduated from Sorbonne University in Paris with a master’s in literature and film studies. His final essay dealt with the representation of mental spaces in Twin Peaks (David Lynch) and A Glastonbury Romance (John Cowper Powys). Right after he had finished his studies, he undertook during three years the direction of an animated short film called Métamorphose, a loose adaptation of Franz Kafka's novel.
Name: Frédéric Even
Lives in: Paris, France
Drama Director Franz Kafka completed Metamorphosis on December 7th 1912. A short story which sits among the darkest and most mysterious in the author’s body of work. A young man, Gregor, wakes up one morning and finds himself transformed into some kind of ‘hideous vermin’. He is then isolated and ill-treated by his relatives, and as the story unfolds he is repudiated by his own family, confronted with a slow suffering and eventually dies. 2015 marks the celebration of the 100th anniversary of this great literary work, so we have decided to pay tribute to the author as well as the work itself, as it continues to be an enormous source of inspiration and ideas for a new generation of artists all over the world. Through our animated short movie, we would like to present a loose and very personal adaptation of Kafka’s work. We decided not to represent the main character’s metamorphosis itself as the fantastic aspect of the short story has already been throughly explored in a variety of ways. Having the main character, Gregor, represented as a human being infuses an allegorical dimension into the text, and enhances some aspects of the absurd world that was so dear to Kafka. The refusal and the dissolution of the family ties seem even scarier as no visible causes can be surmised. With the absence of representation of the transformation itself, we also wanted to show another important aspect: the metamorphosis needs not be seen as some kind of harsh, limiting and ‘imaginary punishment’, which can also be seen as the sign of an unconscious revolt. A radical refusal and a burning desire to get rid of familial and social bonds. The transformation the main character goes through is more about revealing who he really is rather than literally changing him. It brings to light the state of family ties that are corrupted by hypocrisy and desires for power. Paradoxically, it is because of this very intuition - the one of a transformation that frees Gregor through the breaking of social ties, the exclusion and the denying of his own self - that we have decided to portray Gregor at peace, completely aware of what happens to him when he’s finally killed at the end of the short story. As far as Kafka is concerned, the transformation inevitably leads to a terrible ending, but we are convinced that Gregor’s behaviour; docilely being led into committing suicide, and his extreme renunciation, are signs of some kind of quiet energy existing within his own self. His resilience when confronted with destruction, the way he struggles fiercely so that the absurdity of his situation – which is almost devoid of sense - may finally end in a tragic way show that Gregor is, without doubt, exceptionally humane and the master of his own mind. Owing to his metamorphosis, the main character finds himself outside of the world, in some kind of in-between, thereby reaching a state that transcends feelings of loss, depression or suffering. The metamorphosis allows the existence of a ‘being who is ready to die’, a being left with no passion, desperately lonely but full of love for his relatives. He was able to remain true to himself in a beautiful way through his quiet revolt and to be part of the regeneration of social ties and power relations.
Best experimental short ( Paris Short Film Festival )
Mondo cinema prize ( Pietrasanta Film Festival )
Award of merit ( San Francisco Film Award )
Best animated short ( Cork Underground Film Festival )
Prix européen ( Festival du court-métrage de Fontainebleau )