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Strand (2009)

 -  Short | Fantasy  -  May 2009 (France)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 12 users  
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A bond between nostalgia and physical reality, the liquid phase produced by the condensation of Stream of consciousness will evolve through the film and manifests itself using images and ... See full summary »

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Title: Strand (2009)

Strand (2009) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
Mehdi Safarali
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Storyline

A bond between nostalgia and physical reality, the liquid phase produced by the condensation of Stream of consciousness will evolve through the film and manifests itself using images and sounds. STRAND perhaps is a personal journey in memory and time using human models, landscapes and cityscapes of Iran in order to explore the emotion hidden in past and future. Written by Anonymous

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Short | Fantasy

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May 2009 (France)  »

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Rouzbeh Rashidi made this film with no/low budget over a three months period in summer 2008. Shot in stark black and white, the film deals with images of love, friendship, separation, loneliness and isolation; a 'strand' of life in modern day Iran. The usage of Direct Cinema and cinéma vérité techniques, Non-diagetic sound, Super 8mm, Stock footage & heavily manipulative editing are the common stylistic styles that shapes Strand. See more »

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Memory
29 August 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Shot in stark black and white, the film deals with images of love, friendship, separation, loneliness and isolation; a 'strand' of life in modern day Iran. The story weaves through the city and into the heart of the mountains where a heavy mist crawls.

It could be seen that bonds and ties between people are paramount. The juxtaposition of nature and the urban universe is explored throughout. Nature is shown isolated at first, and then slowly and gradually, one is presented with a character from the city, and upon this meeting, the forms of mountaintops merge into the forms of the built environment. More characters begin to seep through the scenery, and one is permitted to sit in on groups of friends as they converse mutely. From a close-knit group one is eventually left with small clusters of people reacting, possibly talking about things and perhaps themselves. Eventually one is left with extremely isolated characters, isolated in mise-en-scene, and from their friends. While the built environment slowly swallows the setting, the sounds are purely natural ones: sounds of running water, crunching twigs and of birds singing. Eventually the rural landscape is presented once again, bookending the images and setting the characters in a rural community that is pure in idea and in natural atmosphere. This could be seen as a completely different image of contemporary Iran than what is projected in the contemporary mass media.

As characters laugh and talk, the natural mountainous landscapes surf and swallow the frame. The characters sit at a campfire and discuss topics, and as it grows dark, only the sounds of dusk-light bird calls can be heard. They tell stories and strengthen the flames in their camp and the night continues, only the light of the fire keeping them as the darkness surrounds the landscape. As night falls, the simple silhouetted mountains become stark forms of black and the image is alive with grain, intensifying the once plain sky, like mania of flying insects to accompany the bats and night birds.

Almost immediately is one interrupted with the jolt of a power hose as a man brings his car through a car wash. At this point one is now almost entirely immersed in the metropolis of urban Iran. This could be seen as stressing for an audience as they have been for 16minutes born unto the countryside and now stare into an unknown world of cars, beeping horns and the hustle and bustle of city life, all seen for the first time through the distorted windows of the car as the water spills down the glass.

Throughout, bare branches are shown sprawled across the frame, as traffic and people crawl between them. Mechanics work, and old men sit and yawn as the commotion spills by. There could be a sense of longing here as images of the mountains and the countryside are interspersed. This sense of longing is realized as the narrative is interrupted with old super eight footage of a family preparing what seems to be a birthday party. The image is worn and old and it hangs on in the memory of the countryside as a heavy fog swallows all of the trees. An aging dog sits chained to a tree. A sheet of scrap metal beside him haggard earth all around. The dog's eyes are weary but alert constantly watching the audience, observing them. Characters are reintroduced as the sound of a flowing stream begins once again. A young man looks worried as the fog moves slowly closer and closer over the hills.

The super eight footage begins for a second time but it reveals more. It is a baby's birthday. Perhaps it is one of the characters from the city. The motifs of nature unfold once more as a father lifts the child into the foliage of a tall tree. Children sit and hold one another. Families sit and talk together, playing with their loved ones. The sound of a running tap or water trickles and slaps into the images. By now the mist and fog have swallowed most of the countryside, trees and mountains are lost forever; leaving only the memory of this place, these people, this family, this life.


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