For me, Softness of Bodies is one long joke with the punchline delivered at the prison visitation scene. I can’t really say much more about it without giving it away. But the film came out of a couple of different notions, the first being that I love the idea of following a character pursuing a career in poetry in our current world. Certainly, it’s possible and I think probably more essential than ever, but the feasibility of making a living out of poetry is difficult to imagine, even though some manage.
The short film I made in Berlin before SOB, Syllables, is about a lost poet from the States hiding in Berlin trying to figure out his life (can you see the overlap yet?). It gave me the first taste of this world, and Dasha, who has a small cameo in the short, was my inspiration for expanding that notion into a feature. The poems that Dasha recites in the film, aside from the final one, were all written by her before I wrote the script. As I was writing, I had to consider which of her poems to include and where to place them, something that definitely shaped certain scenes.
The most meta thing to happen was the poem that Dasha reads at the end, was written by her a few days before we shot that scene. It was from this poem that I took the title of the film. As for the poetry reading scenes in Softness, they were based on readings I attended during my time in Berlin.