During the research for the film The Last Supper, Bigert & Bergström came across many stories about the dream of immortality, and realized that this religious dream has gone through a metamorphosis—now, it increasingly appears to have scientific promise.
The film Life Extended examines many of these ideas via the central protagonist, the British gerontologist Aubrey de Grey, who is fully convinced that humans will be rendered immortal in the not-too-distant future. The film also includes interviews with additional subjects: molecular biochemist Cynthia Kenyon, who claims that “today, aging is subject to control”; Architects Against Death, who construct spaces to slow down the aging process; the Japanese monk Fujinami Genshin Ajari, who ran for a thousand days straight in order to strengthen his spirit for its immortal journey; a group of Mumbai street children, who live in the moment; and many others.
Life Extended’s interviews and tableaux are structured around the form of the Rolodex, in which information is bound in a circular, unending loop; between each interlude, the Rolodex cards flip and new information is revealed. The people in the film run toward the camera as if in a relay race, challenging the orthodox static image of the staircase of life and creating an associative train of thought in motion.
The film was made from 2006 to 2008, filmed on location in Japan, India, the United States, England, and Sweden.
STILLS FROM THE FILM
Doc Lounge, Stockholm, 2009
Documentary Fortnight, MoMA, New York, 2009
6th Planete Doc, Warsaw, 2009
Docville International Film Festival, Leuven, 2009
Uppsala International Short Film Festival, 2009
1st International Film Festival, Kos, 2009
6° Raccontare Il Vero, Parma, 2010
Full Frame International Film Festival, Durham, 2010
CREDITS "Life Extended," 2009 57 min. HD
Written and directed by Bigert & Bergström 2008 Director of Photography Charlie Drevstam Studio Camera Assistant Björn Köling High-Speed Camera Per Olof Rosén, Prosolv Sound Felix Bigert-Mohr Mattias Hambraeus Jasper van den Brink Cherag Cama Studio Light Electrician Stein-Olav Trones Editing Daniel Jonsäter Assistant Editor Thomas Lee Graphic Design Johan Hjerpe Anders Jandér Animations Adam Stjärnljus, Kalle Sandzén 3D Bez Habibnia, Daniel Westlund Digital Effects, On-Line The Chimney Pot, Nicklas Holmgren, Guffe Funck Grading Jonas Jangvald The Chimney Pot Music OCSID Carl Michael von Hausswolff Jean-Louis Huhta Edvard Graham Lewis Sound Design and Mix Thomas Huhn Ljudligan Scenography Assistant Anders Hellström Technic Constructor Lars Hässler Man in Corridor Lars Nilsen
People in Incubator Elliot Guest Alexander Lindefalk Joel Kustus Hektor Wedin Stig Gustin Gunnar Hellgren Location Research Junko Yoda, Japan Dinaz Lynn, Indien Mattias Hambraeus, USA Translations Dinaz Lynn Naoko Kawano Sina Najafi Subtitles Mediatext Production Manager Mattias Hambraeus
Special Thanks Panasonic La Specola, Florence Musee Ville Laon John-Cage-Kunst-Orgel-Projekt, Halberstadt Dep. Materials Science KTH, Stockholm Cykelringen Active Kids Stadsmissionen Myrorna PSI Antonsson Martina Bigert Erik Pauser Thomas Nordanstad Björn Watz Produced by Bigert & Bergström and Jonas Kellagher, Eight Millimetres in collaboration with SVT Stockholm, Arts & Culture, commissioning editor Vera Bonnier. And with support from: DR, NRK, YLE. Nordiska TV-samarbetsfonden (The Nordic Film and TV-fund). The Swedish Film Institute, film consultant Tove Torbjörnsson. The Swedish Arts Grants Committee. Developed with the support of The MEDIA Programme of the European Community. All rights reserved © Bigert & Bergström 2008
Cast/People interview in the film Brian Manning, Philosopher and President Calorie Restriction Society Los Angeles, USA Arakawa/Gins, Architects Against Death New York/Tokyo Cecilia Sjöholm Associate Professor in Literature Södertörns University Sweden Laureen Williams 100 m Sprinter Miami, USA Martha Pineda Life Time Inmate Broward Prison Florida, USA Michael Doser Particle Physician CERN, Switzerland Gaby Wood Writer New York, USA Aubrey De Grey Gerontologist Founder Methuselah Foundation Cambridge, UK Ray Kurzweil Inventor Boston, USA Cynthia Kenyon Molecular Biologist UC San Francisco, USA Jonathan Ames Writer Brooklyn, USA Antoine Berner Raëlian Guide Neuchâtel, Switzerland Fujinami Genshin Ajari Marathon Monk Mount Hiei, Japan Khaja Anwar Sheikh Yasin Kader Sheikh Nasir Kader Sheikh Rajar Ramzan Raute Street Kids, Bombay, India