Friday 30 July 2021

Home - Academic - Frames: In Pursue of the Relationship between Identity and Space by Soroush Alizadeh

24Frames: The third installment of the “Frames” article series is dedicated to the short film “White Winged Horse,” directed by Mahyar Mandegar. The cinematography of this work was done by  Soroosh Alizadeh, whose experiences will be read in this article, along with some stills from the film.



In Pursue of the Relationship between Identity and Space

By Soroush Alizadeh


I thought about this film more than any other project. A character forced to leave his city due to time and situation, leaving behind memories that he cannot leave behind. He has lost part of his identity by leaving his hometown. The connection between his identity and the identity of this city was my biggest challenge in the filming process. Therefore, I decided to glue the character to the background as a two-dimensional part of the town’s scenery as much as possible; It is as if he can’t be extracted from the identity of the city, nor can we take the city out of his identity. In the external scenes, we see him constantly in long shots with a long depth of field, and we have tried to regard him as a part of the surrounding environment in the compositions. On the other hand, in the internal scenes and the scenes in the cafe, we have tried to connect to the mental conflict of the character. Time passing and the changes caused by immigration and lost love can even be visible in his biological physic and appearance, and this is more obvious in the cafe scenes than anywhere else. In a way, the point of connection between the city and the leading character of the white winged horse appears in the cafe. We are close to him in the cafe, constantly monitoring his eye movements and we feel each of his reactions other than watching them. This is while we see the progress of the story in the exterior scenes. It is as if we are trying to discover what is happening deep inside him in the scenes from the cafe and his room. We have tried to make the relationship between him and himself more visible to the viewer than anything else.



This project was and is important to me from another aspect, and that is the process of developing the initial idea until it becomes the final script draft. In the process, I could feel exactly where the connection between the film and my personal life goes. For each sequence, certain music appeared in my mind, and each sequence was full of its own specific sounds, even if those sounds were not the sounds used in the film. To communicate this personal experience to the key creatives who were directly engaged in the cinematography, I used to play these pieces of music before shooting each shot. For example, for Atef Amiri, who was our steady-cam operator, I played the music of each scene to help get to the point in the sequence we were working on, which was very effective in each shot separately.



More than any other project I have worked on, this project proved to me that no matter how we try in pre-production in order to determine everything, still, after the first day of shooting, the film will explain itself to the cast and crew; it will explain what kind of movie it is and what does it look like, which always contains some differences with what we have planned in pre-production. In my opinion, this was one of the most interesting parts of shooting this project.





Translated by Erfan Nazarianpour

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