“It got done because I was so naïve,” explained calligraphy artist, designer and creative director Aerosyn-Lex Mestrovic. “I didn’t expect shit. I didn’t know what it would cost. I literally had never even made a home movie.” The Buenos Aires born, South Florida raised creative is talking about the beginnings of his recently debuted short film “Scriptura Vitae.” The piece is a self-described “visual poem”—as much an ode to 1950’s Japanese cinema culture as it is a platform to showcase Mestrovic’s considerable calligraphic skill.
“[That was] the only parameter I was given,” related Mestrovic over the phone from the Canal Street Nike Store, where he was installing a calligraphic display. “Chanel 4 [the project’s UK commissioner] said, ‘we just want to show you doing your artwork, your calligraphy or whatever.’ They would have been fine with having a friend film me in my studio.”
What Mestrovic delivered was much more ambitious. “The idea of the film is that we’re telling an amazing duality—young and old; black and white,” said Mestrovic. “I thought of it as a visual poem in a way. Some people get it. [Some don’t.]”
To accomplish this, Mestrovic brought in two Japanese performers that he painted in his signature, surrealistic calligraphy. Maki Shinagawa, an accomplished Butoh dancer, and cult actress Miho Nikaido move to the sounds of the artist’s longtime friend Diplo (“He made original music for the project—it’s not just like bubble butt and some fucking club shit. It’s something a little different,” said Mestrovic) and British avant-electro producer ACTRESS.
“The whole thing is a little nuts!” exclaimed Mestrovic. “We just did a screening in San Paolo and we’re planning a follow-up in LA in February. In the Spring, we’re taking the short film to Tokyo. We’re at a point where the film is more than just a film project. It’s this whole body of artwork.”