NewCinemas: Journalof Contemporary FiIn Volume4 Number 1 @ ?006 Llteilect Ltd Article.English laaguage. 10,13g6/ rrcin.4.I.

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Digital cinema:The transforrnation of film practiceand aesthetics
Adam GanzRoyal Holloway, University of London Lina Kha tib RayaI Holloway, Univsysify
oJ'London

Abstract

tYtrxe--""j of iir;,*'i5i!-::;;{,f:'I::;tr#'f:::;{!';;:'!;,X^!,::*; ***X*" took disitalcinema at ucn"obsi;a deturminism: ratheadisitql ::":-y:1, fil;
fiIma;sthetics makinsis looked ^ at pottilriii^ for cinemas oroura in, *orld- The pirtormiii;. , : proposesnew i!!il|\li ilti"t iis article a oi' "t* o_uort y,1y, iiital cinema toitii ii*ithin the- _fiImmakirig.__-. _ ,_ tnot process cinematic of devel'lgnen gri tnot iii;rrognizes , themedium,s uniqueneis in trarcforming retatl;ft4U bitween tke thedirectorthe actors the.audience, and. as weIIasin impaca4i,,parj&lrrit rrturr, prry**on , on4image. articleappkes The this theoryto2:tlie'cqiiof cinemain i;o;'-*h'"r, _ digitql technology havingrr is remarkable ortihe existencetheiniustry effect of in a newfreer form.
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E'verythingin the worid, from every possible angle. 1,.,., ,. (Sontag2e02:76) This article looks at m" merSrng of film a4d elechonic media 9f lhe to create the phenomenon "ff:l digital of cinem"a. iigitut cinema is defined for the purposesof this articre as both a technicai phenomenon ;;.bu ;rr* now be originated, edited and distributed "* tirougt digitar/ereetronic merria, and alsothe kind

of cinemathar has .o*" CIt. ,n"""inirr"r" ra", theoristsand practitionersare divided "rr#or. in thJ stancetowardsdigitar cinema, with opinionsoscillatingbetween*g*ai"g i as a revolution (ohanian and Phillips 2000-)an-dan_evorution o. crilJ )oorl or cinema practice,our argument is that digital technology has hansfo*ned ,*"*" i.r'lir-Luuoo and recordingof the image and sound, how the two are editedand malipulated' and how the final pieceir a"rr"*a io the audienceand watched by them' But thisrisnot just a technorogical hansformation; is most of an a it kansformation of perception,Not orrly *. th" _"*, by which image and sound are recordedand manipulated firn;;enta'y different, far more important is the different significance that these kansformed images and soulds haveon the relationship befir,een,fr. nr* and its audience.In what an y" wilffirst gr.ve assessment rhe impacrof digitat rechnology of 31"::, on me practiceof fir'mai<ing and the aesthetics or iuLJ ,n""li"rr.o fo digital cinema,and then examine "i".*u, trr.lppri.ation of this practice and aesthetics Iraaian cinema,focusing in o,,rtroiiarramark digitar Iranian films: Ten(2002) bv AbbasKiarostamiand-20 Fingers (2005) by tr^ania Akbari.
NCICF (1) 21-36 @ Inreilect 2006 4 Lrd

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Tape can be rewound and reviewed instantly. His technique has to be practically subconscious. There is usually a monitor or monitors on set availableto the crew and actors.It's beeninvariabiytrue that the bestcameraoperators do their will besttal<e when the actor'sdoing his besttalrc. There is a clear difference between spacebehind and in front of the camera. But we argue that digiial filmmalcing. b"calse there is feedbaci< and crossoverbetween the area behind and in froni oi'the camera. Even the director could only check what the {ilm had recordedat the rushesscreening the next day. The journey to digital cinema what are the defining characteristics of digital cinema? A major difference between the making of film and digital drama is the spatial relationship' beiween the players.i Canz and Lina Kiratil:.Digital technology. born from the requirements of the physical properties of the medium (the chemical recordrng of light on fikn and the physical manipulation of celuroid). It was accorded an enigmatic numinous quality. The patent 'closed circuit Teler. which are connected b]z a clear one-lvay gaze in which the director and the camera look at the actors and the actors do not look back. . ard second. There is azoDerather than one ansle.invented to assistcomedianJerry Lewis with the processof simultarieously acting and directing. because it allows a fundamental redeiinition of what cinema can be. only thl camera operator cou-ldwatch the image as it was being made. This is because first.io. John Belton in Digiial cinema: A FalseRevoiution (2002) has argued that digital cinema as a practice offers nothing new for the audience.r. one can identify the first stage in this linlcing betwee'those trva areas and perhaps the lirst siep towards a digital cinema as the video assist. which came from the trust and secrecy involved in fixing a chemical inage on right-sensitive material. his sense compositionof of of of all that is critical to the creativity of the shot. .'ision Anillied to N{ofionPictures' is or. in conjcining the tra<iitionai i'neihods and rituals of fiimmaking with the dilferent traditions of the electronic media. Iris sense beauty. rvas firsi used on the 1llm riri netnov by It Atlan. Furthermore. The feature film depend. has offered a moment of liberation or rather a seriesof liberations. is creating a new kind of practice associated with the purely digital image. viewing the deveroped firm was dependent on an industrial process and a higlrly developedinfiastrucfure. .veen different parties.) basicallythe operatoris lilming the picture at all timesduring the take. because want him watching the actor. there are ofltenmultipre cameras. sidney Lumet describes this unspoken relationship in his book Making Movies: (. these places were separatedin time as well as space.It sounds romanticbut it's pari of the mystique moviemaking of (1996: 11g). oo orr" p€rson looking through a camera while the director engages with the u. Film rryas languageof respect. It is nothing less than a re-imagining of the spatial relationshipsbetr.vned Le'. space in digital drama is vague. drama.his sense rhythm.r'is. by transtbrming the relationship betrveen the actors' the director and the camera.not the cornersof I his frame. the a with privileged accessto the camera and the viewfinder.

e f s o m c l h i n gh a L g . changes ancitakes and sometimesafter discussions rehearsals ASCusedthe monitor to evaluHaskeilBoggs. but also horv the camera sees.(directedby and starring Lewis) in 1950.ve've wouldhavetiroughtimpossible. weremade.. the remote-controiled crane and aii other cievices. observe (Frediani f995/6) Suddenly the private world of the viewfinder was a public property and the sightlines of cinema changed.the editorial supervisor. in the evoiution of the home yideo camera. but aboveall. (quoteri n 8rou"r 1982) Digital cinema: The lransformation of film pracl"iceand aesthetics . iruman taieni and it's going to malie the mastersof the things ihat they believe inheritedthis business' cinema. We can see. in'stead of the clear arrow from camera' operator to performers there was a potential for all of those invoived in working on the film to see.vout.first as an appendage to the camera. These developments continue the change in spatiai relationships between subjeci and object' What is transformed by the video assist is not only who can view the image and where and 'when they can view it.from whom r. because the electronic image that appeared on the monitor was available to be watched by anyone in the vicinitY. aliowing him to monitor his performance in front of the camera lt hile directing it from behind the camera. holv the screen has developed. gradually become the primary one. usedthe monitor to locate Acker sometimes The setpainter Gene equipment. In other words a mediation is taking place' (Geuens1996: 21). And this digital mediation is becorning +1-ar l r l l a r J --i-o-r2. The assistantdirectorsviewed the monitor with extras.Cinematographer ihe and Arthur Schmidt. o i r go m a l t e h e n d u s t r i a le v o l u i i c n o rer. ate set-ups. But it rapidly had a di{ferent effect from the one first imagined.The image vr vt cJ u-v p LUE now begins as well as ends on a screen and the mediated image ha.'n'hich v"'ereccrd and receivethe $'orlC.". '(the The effect of the video assist on the practice of fiimmaking is that director) no longer confronts the world directiy but looks instead at an image formed through an optical contraption.olution I iook like a small out-of-towntr.a" h.reflect and act on what was being made. ProducerErnestGlucksmanusedthe monitor many times to vierv Associate with Lewis.Moreover the addition of the video assist to the camera had the perhaps paradoxical effect of making the camera more manoeuvrable. to usedthe monitor when access the setwas restrictedby script supervisor. which he of describedin his address at the 51st Annual z\cadem3.Motion Picture Arts and Sciencestelecast (April 9. The secondkey moment in the developmentof digitai cinema rtias the project developedby Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope Studios. giving rise to the Steadicam. can seea cotnmunications and that's aboutmoviesand art and music and digitalelectronics satellites.and where it can go. highlights to be dulled down. and now as an integral part of the design.where the camera operatot does not need to look directly through the camera.. empty areasto be filled or crossed to occasionalll. ClajreBehnl<e. L979): s F L I t t o \ V e ' r e n i h e e r .

Digital cinema transforms sounds an<i images to zeroes and ones. .j. have become more or lessirrelevant.:t. As Thomas Brovrm. And it is about to happenin the further integration of film editing ald 'risuai effects...r.. iighti.k..thus they comeunder easiercontrol by a sjngieperson. where the bordersbetweensbund editing and nlxing havebegun io biur. Adam Canz and Lina Khatib :. 'Francis envisioned an environment where image.. . It is not just thal digitai filmmaking means generally speahingfewer crew..j. and post-prcductlol tc occur simultaneously The script could change in responseto the input of rhe actors.i.. r.who supervised the design of the Silverfish said.::..I can seethis alreadyhappeningln the sound-mlxingwork that I do.away from the tilm indushy's traditional basein Los Angeles.::-.can be copied for nothing and aie mcre or iessindestructible. (. which can flow searnlessly between wha? were previously discrete areas of production.::1'r+:. The digital images thai repiace it have no ph5.*1... At the hearrt of the operation was the Silver{ish.ii. The electronic cinema envisageda karsformation of ihe iraditionai organizational srructure of fiL.) digitaltechniques naturaliytend to integrate with eachotherbecause of their maJhematical commonality..The Silverfish could be moved from place to place around the sound stagesand the director 'if could be simultaneously remote from the action and present * needed he could easily walk on to the sound stage' (Brown 1982). Often the fiirn is more expensi-rethan the things it is iilrning. The subsequentdevelopment of non-linear editing systemssuch as Avid and Lightworks and the enormous leaps forward in digital compression. wrote in 1999. a custom-designedmotor vehicle with a video editing system.:t''. portability was central to the way in which this was envisaged. Its iiery expense aestheticizes. one of Coppola'seditors an Apocalypse Now. As Walter Murch. lessmoney. and made it more available than he could have imagined.f".'.. freeing film irom the physical eflect of light on silver has meant that digital terchnology potentially avaiiable to all. digital storage and distribution have meant Coppoia'svision has come to pass.It neecistc ire protected from light and extremesof temperature. Films can be recorded or created oc computer. ".but close to the burgeoning computer industry of Silicon Valley) to slnthesise {ilm and television practices in what he called the electronic cinema.: . they are edited on compuiei':ilihey have spet-ial efiectsrhcy vvill be creaiedin r"he coinpurer.t.nproduction by enabling pre-producticn....'.gi .sicaiexistence. Although the technology was not ygf portable as we nolv understand it. which defined many of the practices of traditional cinema.111f1:*:ti. .prcduction..Coppola attempted at Zoetrope Str-rdios(signilicantly established in San Francisco. tapes cheaperthan film stock (or no tapes at all). an audio mixing console and video and audio feedsfrom the five sorrnd stageswhere the director could preview something as close as possibleto the finished {ilm. sound and data flowed iike hot and cold water' {Zoetrope 2005). Tire physical limitations of the medium. or the way a scenewas edited.-t!'. . Film is a comis parailvely unstable fragile nreciium.ir:*rd3.But the technology was not yet able tc cope particularly with the dernandsof postproduction.je:ii?E:i.veightequipment.r.

spaceswhere filmmai<ing can and does"occur.:..that is.r.Digital proiection.'::r=.rouid be uitimately no distinciion bet'. with this new technology..3i.There is nor'^rhere to ihratis noi accessible the dlgital cameia. Digital crnema: The transformation of film practice and aestheiics L) .. the spacerruhere drama occurs is no longer assembled from shot reverse-shot or careful camera molies. lncreasingly the DVD is the original. Simply put. . in which the camera(s) operate. the audience is encouraged to think of themselves in as potentially inhabiting any part of this spaceand thus (like Jerrl' Ler'rris TheBeIIboy)to be potentially both behind and in front of the camera' The aestheticsof digital cinema The cost of stocli and processingin traditional cinema means that maryr takes that vrere shot were not printed and would neveir see the iight of day. The change in our relationship to digital images and the different ways they are used in practice has transformed the idea of fikned space. s publicplaces r /hat Sontag could not have foreseen was that. The private and the public in digital cinerna fwst publishedkt 1977 as Coppola Susan Sontag writes in OnPhotography. and dependent on creating a performance from multiple takes. such currently popular usesof cissistic conferand in image-feedback the bedroom. the fiimmaiier and the actors..#i: -. It seeseverything and it records everything. That is to say it existed in its primary form not as a film but as computer code.i. has become availableto cinema of ali hinds and ail budgets. the iirere v.'mff.. and on the amount of manipulation ihat an image can take..llii:tiin.. l"::jl :-=i i!:i l. is only a feiv years awaY.If cameras the are ever-presentand always recording.high shooting ratios. This consists of a web of ccmplex spatial relationships inhabited jointly by the audience.. A range cf practices which nere only availableio big budget studio drana (iike specialeffects.:*. Both the public and private spaces have become above all filmed spaces. Star Wars: as Attackof the Clones(Lucas 2002) was outputted to the D\D as code not lrom an image.='-.. .r'ed a-digital artefact.... Instead there is a zone.$+. id-9.rJfrir. or cutside the Earth's atr:rosphere.i :.instant movies) in has beento turn evenmore ol what is donewith cameras private to narBut uses.. the particular icind of studied naturalism epitomised by the likes of Pacino. there are more cameras filming more people in more places than ever before.i$tf t'#n. to sel{-surr?eiliance. improvisation and rehearsing on camera. For example.+ii:ii l :-. The digital camera does noi forget.:i.'.'r. The irnages will consist of both 'objective' surveillance images and private images shot on handimpersonal.'-!+.. Now: rvas editing Apocalypse One of the effectsof the newer pameratechnology(video. whether inside the body.. the linal stagein the migraticn to digital. f There is a physical iimit on the number of cuts that can be made on a piece oi celluloid. The finished film is increasingly likely to be -rier.the therapysession the weel<end ence seem far less momentous than video's potential for surveillancein (2002:777).-: . Brando and De Niro. heid cameras and mobile phones.reen pritrate and the public. and on-camera improvisation) are now available to all filmmakers.:. .-:ai-'.:r-'::.

since the digitat camera is potentiaily arways on. \^ie also accept the non-aesthetics of the firmmarcer's . It is unsurprising.vhen the film camera averts its gaze. A comparatively conventionar screenpray (which courd armost have been written by TerenceRattigan and has been a successthroughout riurope as a theatre piece)is transiormed tirrough the prism of the &gitJ cinema and its different relationship befi.ti a. that the senseof privileged accessand disciosing secretsis a common theme in digital ci'ema' Take as an exampreThomas vilterberg's Dogme firrn Fesren {1998)' perhaps the delining work of the Dogme movement. Jhe . or in Lars von Trier's Dogville {2003) r"rherethe a*dience has prir. which does not"irarrr".. the dirference betlveen photoglapher an i'dirriduareyeand the as the phoiographer a'. It is on the dashboardof the car' It is part of the action. . LAlg JLU1 V- The digital camera continues to look i. The analog-v with a rs camera at a football match that films the players in the tu-nnelLefore they appea. as *.is about re-remembering and revealing. the performers are potentially always performing" cameras are cheaper and more mobire. Digital cinema aliows for a different kind of ierationship between acror and camera. we too consfruct the sets which exist oniy a*q chalh lirres on the studio floor.rzeen the audience the performers and their stories.r the pitch. As the actors must.IA/ehave a &fferent kind of access. dirfererice the oftenregarded.\icole Krdman's virtuoso performance. misti{<enlv separ-aiing as photographl. The audienceis everJ. Tb us.vhichgives a senseof privi_ legedyet partial access. which deart with incest in an apparently successfi. because the digitar video camera looks rn a drfferent warr. then.rly constructs and deconstructs 9:uTu_i:--ade. Bu1 both are logical extensions of what photogrilphy 26 Adain Can. space with apparently the same privileges as the actors and filmmakers.ur-abuu.i. it is common for more than one camera to be on set.ii:i. Kiarostami's in Ten(2AAl * as being one of a number of ways of r:ecoril. and we are constantly reminded of ail the aspectsof the cinematic i[usion as we are re-drawn into it.tieged accesstc ihe various levels of illusion which go into the ma_hingof the"drama. ing the action. The camera is often explicitly or implicitly returne d to the context. As we have grown used to the non-aesthetics of the ccrv camera.arnati."where nowhere at the same and time. watching a drama with many simirarities with the sfylized studio dramas of the forties and fifties.. art lrom photograas phi' as doc'meni. we can see this in the blurring of bouadaries between art film and pornography in Michael Winterbottom. auo Lioa r-ita:ib l--li+:. we are preseni before and after ihe normal on boundarles oi. The digital allows the repre_ sentation of multiple yet fractured points of view.rl bourgeois l-amily. we are observing and partitipating in how the film simultarr"o. t rt instead is placed to record acti'ritiesthat occur in given a -carnera(si envir'nmenr-. r.we never watch the story directly. uzeoverhear it.s 9 Songs eAOq. instead we are present where it occlus. There are often many points of view representedinstead of only one. The audience inhabits the same a. The camera is not attempting to frame ihe aciion bui oniy to cover it. It is signi{icant that this lilm.And everything it remembers can be easily found. It is in the hands of the actors.' objective as recorderseerns fundarnentar.

Classicthree-pointlighting image or the home video. What both tfJob.'. . - .hatweshotthatday. i. is sonreof ihe worst acii:rg l've everdone percentbeing lelt in threfilm.potentia'iiJ'"everythinginther'vorldfrornever5'posstbieangle' 2oo2:176) (sontag 'action' harsan impacl ou and This changing relationshipbetween camera maridng a return of improvisational both the acting aoa th* directing..Liesandvideatapeiissgii".. . the other tn'o (Flarlev 2002) practice arrd aeslhetics Digitai cinema: The transformaiion of liim I !-.iorriu""".rnaninterviewwiththeMoviecrazed'websiteactorPaui the processof working om Doguille: describes .:"r...Icou}deditscenesandshootitdifferentlytbenext weaver's experience lchti'ti" 2005b)' Sigourney -us u--iog. this cle-ar:''SPeciai of chastity The fourth ruie of tit" Oog*"'t uo-* F"l*t lighi for exposure ine scene is too little lighting is not acceptable.r.erisely igg5). be recorded and edited into when aii can in performan"" ir""o-" i"" "ltu' thefinishedrurn..p be attached to the camera. soderbergh (n'hose brealithrough filn techniques to storS'tetting'-it"pntl quaiidependenlon the perception of a se. iniage .ltf there (Dogrne 95 ri.)' must be cut or ". means:note-taliingon.i"si.*"y no in our hair-so there's boom--and There's me and Nicoleivith mllres iust LarswithavideoCamerathathasaiapeinittiratrunsforanhour.. subjectiveuses cf the tecbini. The zone ic thestockissufficientlysensitivetooperateunderalllrindsofconciitions.ective and world harre !n which #e increasingly experience the nology through Commonisourlacliofaestheticexpectations.rot u feature either of the ccrv behind 'The elision of ihe bouldaries between the spacein front and in the mai<ing of the film in participate the camera means that the actors person and the actor fft" Uoondaries between the actor as a clifferent uru:''.Ssr' Liss t'nd-Super I tative difference in the personai eiectron-ic when disatf*tent film) describes this process 'EverY would have been "SuUAk " ""tV on hi-definition video: (2005)' shot cussing the mahing o' on my computer so we would watch night I had the lbotage in my room u. Shesaidit's litcea hybrid between medium and she was able mini digitai videois such a performance-oriented of is ihe exactopposite a fiim day' to just act and act r'vhichI Lind of feel 2005a:52) (Christie percentageof the day is taken up in ii is not just that a much greater move in space' ald lines o{ action are acting.lt described by the frlm's is TZOOZ) another example' while makin g Tadpote winicli: director Gar]' the theatreand fiim' Because Shelovedit.rr realljrbarrkingon in rny |ife.You what vou'vedone ' ' you you'vedone'remember r'vhat can't hopeto knor'rr 98 oihor'r'I did' because perceni just haveto let go ' ' ' I've gol no sensation j'ou' of it' I can guarantee 98 percent of it isn'i goingio be in the morrieAnd SoI. but that actors are ireer to aliowing much more time f""t* so defined by what iighting ispossible' of action can be pre-Iit and "" be spent ln ttre act of p*.'?4l[]-lql...

.1.The processof acting becomesless about perfcrming for a single observer and more about the condition of being observed.rrise thiel filmed on the crmvcledstreets of caiic.versatile..This may explain why vrorld cinema directors vl.inexpensive.anci abie to record and store imagesln far greater quantitiesand irl a i wider range of conditionsthan otlrer cameras. 2LtOi). a camera in the hands of another actor. Digital cinema has therefore enabled the creation of industries vvhere it would have been impossible otherwise.reras.::1::rti*'*:: "'.These effectshave proportionately been felt more in countries without an established fiim inriusiry or where that industry was subject to strong central control. we have argued above.vill eventually ceaseto be an au-xiiiary tool of the Iilmmaking process: it wiil be the process.portable. The affordability and easeof use of the technology have pushed the boundaries cf form in those induskies. And that has led to a transformation oi the nature of cinema. For a thriving industry lihe Bollywood. narrate the story difierentl_v The stor.The techniques of making are adaptedto a dynamic relationship between director.r.-.whether by a small flxert camera. In the secondpart of this article we are going to seeto what extent theseinsights a-re true in the Traniancinema. the !€ry notion of world ctnemaigabout empowerment: aboutpeople teliing their own stories rather than simply accepting what Hollywood and its clonesoffer.to premiere fiims simultaneor-rsiy diiierent cinemas acrosslndia in (Chadha 00 I r. Digital Iranian cinerna The iiriro<iuction oi digital iechnoiogy to emerging fiim inciustries iike Iran's has ailoweC the crealion cf all kinds of cinema at once in places ihai did not have cinema befcre or -where cineraa practice was limited. or by severalcameras simultaneously. because they're comparativeiy small.Digital car.:"::_1 . choseto shoot his mosi recent fin lilephty {. Khan says that drgitai technology allor'r's (F{absirian2aa4. him tc. knolvn for making epicslike AplyamEs-Sadaf iDays of Sa<lat. As GeoffAndrew argues. enabiing the instantaneous exrsience aa old of form (film) as well as a new one (digital). Digital technology is also bene{icial in reducing distributidri costs. As Thomas Brown then recognised. performer and audience. digital cinema mahes a new kind as of aesthetic possible. rhe Egyptian director fiohammad Khan for exampie.-. 1 fu{oreover.:r. Adimr Canz and l.. in the digital tlim the immediacy of the image becomesthe aesthetic.: . Palestine for example is a piace with few cinema resourceswhere digital technology has aliowed severai young people to mai<efilms under the harsh conditions of Israqli occupation.i:r.el-v high budgets sometimes chooseto shoot fi1msdigitall-v.ina i{natib lLE*r.-.electronic cinema r. The technology is not only transforming the film industry..r cf a streelr.hc have accessto relatir. play a crucialrole in that empowerment (2005: 13).. the process of refitting Indian cinema theatres with digital projectors that siarted in 2003 has meant not only better picture qualitSz..' :']:''a::il-.-. it is allorving fiim industries to exist where there were none previously. but also the abiiity.2ao4\ on digital riideo.

. or melodrama (or any mixture of those eategories).::.ii."". U f t 1 Om i n d e r i S s e n l a l O n e .r.ten members on locafion compared to fifty worhing onDays ol Sadat.But boih films do not rely on traditional scripts. a boat. on peopie going about their ordinary film that dependson iives becoming part of the backdrop and texture of the film' (El-Assyouti the 2004).+ 'rougher d L h K l e i t h t y s d e p e n d e no n h a u d . a cablecar and a train. meaning that they are films that go beyond genie conventions. postproduction and distribution (Golmahani 7992). h * Y " (Reuters2uu4l The result of this is that far Ten and 20 Fingers. And second. :.rention. I{owever. The film's foregrounding of the city of Cairo necessitated use of a small crew ..r.. thc natural feel in people like us. that they can be classified as non-piot cinema....ll. the Another advantage digital is that of from the [t]he only way to shoot in lran on 35mm is to hire equipment v'rhichmeansscript approvaiaird a gcvernmentminder central authorities..."'. Kiarostami is a world cinema veteran who chose to use digital technology to shoot on location.it+ll:. in the rn'ordsof also that ihey ' I r r l i L hS i r n m t h e l e ' s i ne x p e c r a i i oin r y o u c o B t o t e i l as t o r y ....::l:.Tn lerr specrfrcally.. a ta..ithout a'narrative'. telling us stories r.hiie working on his landmark film ?en. for those two films.. telling stories in a way that appears and therefore both have a terms ol image and performance.ondthe expectation of narrative.r . where location is mainly a seriesof moving vehicles:cars. Khan's deliberaie Lrseof digital cameras 'docudramatic' in nature. Akbari herself has directed and starred in a film titled 20 Fingers. a motorbike. documentary...that enabled a greater mobility and the scopeto shoot ninety per cent of the film on location in one of the world's most crovrded cities (El-Assyouti2004).:':.h e l d i g i r a l( ' a m e r : ars a t g i v ei t a i edge' than Khan's 35mil iilms.. played by Mania Akbari. t h e i r s t y l i s t i cm i n i m a l i s m l a l i e s L h e i r s u b j e c t m a t t e r b e y o n d drama...tire films present characters 'unacled'..r. I{iarostami and Akbari respectively submitted scripts for approval that rt'ere sanitized versions of the ones they proceededto maice.:. giving the film a documentary feel. Like Khan. Digiial cinema: The transiornation oi film pracilce and aeslheiics .. The location in Tenis limited to a cal driven by its main character Mania.i. on alieiidirrg sirootio ensure ihe ' .One of the major impacts of digital technology on Iranian cinema is its challenge to censorship. Samira Makhmalbaf (2000) 'screen' their fiims on argues that digital technology allows fiimmakers to internet.-ii.:. digital technology is more than just a convenient way of shooting in confined spaces. Khan's experience reminds us of that of Abbas Kiarostami's rn. go be5..... a stems from his desire to make a lilm that is 'slolen shots. characters are ordinary 'docudramas' is However what makes Ten ar'd 20 Fingers difi'erent from i h a t f i r s t .i r { e n r e n l i r e c c ..rj.. r i n r e!n D ! .u'hile they are not strictly improrrised. rn'hich is a homage to Ten. Iran's cinema is a heavily regulated industry where censorship occurs at every stage of the filmmaking process:scriptwriting. u t Kiarcslami. thereby evading the government's controi on distribution. What \re mean bl' this is not oniy that the films but cannot be loolied at from a linear/non-linear narratirre con-.l:.n y a l . shooting. the scriptis adhered Shooling diiital to.

They allow us to inhabit what is a woman's spacewithout going through the fiiter of a film crew. n s p a c er v es e ei s i n t i m a t .with digital.valmost invisibie cuts in Ten. yet viewed together.r:.':::. Jl'v 1 ! '-:o 30 Adam Canz and Lina Kbai. but from the audience'sseemingly direct access that space. Nlania Akbari (2005) has assessedthe use of singie shots as enabling the edlting to be in the acting. it is the relationship between sr:bject anil objeci that makes them different^ The audience is allorsed to make a decision abo.ib :. and cinema that does not necessarilyhave to tell a story. Those lives are presented to Lls as into the inner lives cf moments and feelings mostly through long tai<esthat contain fe-. nunrber of films abo.rred deduce what the story is.and between her and Bijan in 20 Fingers. Panahi.prostitution and abortion.-itthe rlaterial tiiat ihe director wo'.the stories in the films are circrilar and episodic. .veen the woman and her ten-year-old son. and through listening to to fragmenied conl'ersaticns. although stories might w-ellsurface in this kind of cinema' (Bergaia 2004: 45' quoted in Elena 2005: 1"83). ?enpresentsten sequences young Iranian r. which together give us a glimpse of the life of by a women in modern Iran: the conversations tackle the relationship betr.lt r. the problems faced by women like the breakdown of relationships.vithouta story (.!.Mania) and producer (the actor. t-. Bijan).en's 2000) and Roozi ke zan slwdqnt(The Day I Becarife a lVoman.is allor. Ldeshkini. jr:''r-:::l:l:: . .-ecinema can be seen as This intention to 'a creating cinema r.IIke Dayereh(The Circie.rrom. 2a Fingersgoesfurther into addressingwomen's issues through seven sequences depicting seven different couples played by the same actors.the sequenccs Iranian women.". and through single shot episodesin the case of 2C Fingers. r aI10D€r]Ormance.a l i o r v i n gf o r a d i f f e i . Digital technoiogy has pushed the boundaries of seeingin lessobserved societies sholvins rrs thinss filmed for the first time.it. Each of the couples engagesin a conversation about controversial issues regarding women in Iranian soeiety.:'. The films illustrate digital technology's changing of the relationship with the subject of film.ril... who are also the film's director (the actress.Tlle audience is given pri-rilegedaccessto the space. The drama in the fi1ms comes not from the stories tfiey tell (Iranian cinema has in the recent yea-rsproduced a issues.Divided into separatesequences(ten ln the caseof Ten and seven in the case af 20 Fingers). and ale conducted between the driver and a variety of female passengers. to 2000)). In other -words. fu{oreover. her divorce.rid the absenceof wide shots in both films means thai the make. I think we'li get used to new sfyles fof fiLn-making].v it ailor. Each sequence stands alone and can be understood as a take us on a ride whole piece cf art.) cinema beforethe story of cinema. we need not reiy so much on stories'(2003. quotedin Andrer'v go beyond traditional narrafir.from virginify to adultery to lesbianism and abortion.vbman.in addition to her son. This js seen in the way Ten and 20 Fingers present their subject matter: the stories of women depicting conversationsin a car driven in lian.the stories in themselves are not 'different'.:- . ' . The stories in both films are intimate and revealing.ri*i ''t'::4-:ta-rl.r. hor.1 r. so maybe 2005: 35).e n!t' e p r e s c n t a i i co f i m a g .rs us to go places r.vedo not normally go.. We listen in on the conversation between Mania and her passengersin Ten. but we are not guided by the director as is the case in a traditional narrative film.

l:.in Ten.= ili.r: . vrithin to adlust the zoom on the camera to girzethe actress more space eye of the the frame. respectively..lnr.*:.. film's frames are that the cameras in Ten are static means that the in unusual.esnot allow Being set almost entirely.. and appear differently in the space of the ends and . \ve can go as far as saying that it demands informaiity in mise-enis of one o{ the moststril. Kiarostami goesfurther by sometiinesdenying access car in chiiracters themselves. Yet through the argument we are to introduced to Mania's story: a divorceer. his child proportions giving the frame space to fully record his movements as he shifts in his seat. :..t. the fiims fluiclity of rvoriring n'ith digital cameras.e taiion. The fact eaJh pointing at the driver and the passengerseat. Bv not seeing Mania.:iinl Looking on the insideand the outside hal'e argued above..giving the audience a privileged position that allou's frarne oier the spatiai movements oi the characters. seat: this is most clearly seen rnthen Sequence ten by u"qo*.-... Cigital technciogy presents room fol experillenAs rn..*1. Thus the characters sometimesmove passtightly outside of the frame. what we do see is the characters reacting to looking events..r.ingaspects lerr and 20 Fingers the way the scene. although us Amin.. nine begins:in sequenceten. the lrame follows the characters as they move them control space. rnrith ?enshot using tnro cameras fued on the dashboard of the car. The frame almost transforms the scene into a theatrical gaps piece. But ..-i-*ltL. Tendoes not allow us to seewhat is such happening outside it. on ihe viel'ver: vate a viewer is lo rob him oi his reason' (Kiarostami 2OA+)' Digilal cinema: The transfornation ol fiim praciice and aesthetics ) 1 . thus malcing the camera mimic the natural 'iewer/voyeut' see I .1r. ing the au<lience into voyeurs r..:.vho do not have fuil access to the moriements of those they are observing..r'ith Amin urhose framing in mid shot ailows us to register his facial expressions and hls body language e\renbefore he launches his verbal counter-attacks on com. Shot mainif in moi'ing vehicles.. and we are imrnediately struck by how her presence aimost fully fills the screen space.r"uf imagery as they iisten to characters on the stage describing to the surroundings.trho*t making Mania a disembodiedvoice. in the car. J .. In nine' Mania's adult sister replaces Amin. Kiarostami does not seem.. Traditionally.hichcreales a bigger impaci.r .noih". Kiarostami onil.-.r .il9{r-. are testimony to ihe iilms icoi<.!.li.vhohad to lie in court in order vrho feels get a divorce. lhe transformbecomes a urindorv through vrhich vr'epeep on the characters.. 33ying that it changes the relationship betrveen the spectator and the film into an active one 'To capti{Andrevr 2005). Kiarostami has mented on his deliberate use of omissions b5. Both rely on very flarrow canera angies.'. we see her and her sister accept at a clriver in front of them and commenting on their actions' We happening vyhat the characters are commenting on despite the events' outside the frame.. rve ideniify r. Mania comments on the traffic. the passengerseat is occupied plenty of the ten-year-oid boy Amin. r.:. can hear her arguing \^/ith her son Amin. where the audience have to use their imagination to fiiI in the iheir irr."og". accusing her of loriing no one but herseif. whose son is unhappy rn'ith her neltr husband and caught between his parents..A prostitute who Mania gives a ride to in the the car' sequenceseven is cnly seeg for a fraction of a Second as she leaves we ana in the first 16 minutes of the filrn rne do not seeMaqia.

r'as e

el1 not p r e s e n o n t h e s e ' .. and in the performance of the actors within this zone.v reiationship resuited in a transformation of the space filmed.soI \. I br. t h e r e s p . This ner. we are more familiar with the aesthetics of the digital image. But the movement of the camera is also used Like Ten.. .vebeen ediied . create. naturai perforrnances by non-professional actors. Adam Canz and Lina Khatib ii#r. believing that distancing himself frorn the shoots makes the actors more comfortable: It's di{ficulttc see'. we are surrounded by digital images of ourselves. therefore. r L oc . 20 Fingers' naturalized camera raovements can be seen as a revival of the ethos of 19 60s' Direct Cinema.Akbari chooses to have one camera filming the actors. ' o o I !Drr1ts urBrLdL viuuu -i-- lr^i4^1 --:l^^ vdthcr:t financial inealt that Kiarostami ccr. :c a n d o .12 i. giving the film a more natural feel and a sense of immediacy As Dovey argues. i t s n o t h i n gr r u c hy o . lVhile shootingTenl vzas sitting in the backseat. he compared directing t$e film to rnanaging a footbail team.lvasfollo-.rho's duector. think.Ahbari ailows the camera to move.. signifying authenticity and an indexical reproduction of the real world' QOA4: 557).rt didn't interlere. from mobile phone images to famiiy videos to CCTV to accidentaily appearing on television. Lh r i \ i r s o i r .. panning left and right. r nu l e sa n d r e a l l )t e q u i r e t h a rv o u s ra a l l o i rt h e .:: I 'rrr: 11":c.y o uc r n s m o l t e c i g a r e t L e g e i n e r v o u s .vith many Directors don't ailvays too r d e m r n d sl. is very similarto being a footbaiicoach. Kiarostami often directed the actors from the bach seat of the car. while in 20 Fingers.t r t or a b you can't do much.instead of cutting between the two characters in each of the seven sequences. .rlduse a high shooting ratir.Youprepare I p l a v e r a r r d i a c e h e mi n t h e r i g h tp l a c e sb r r lo n c er h eg a r n es o n . In an interview with Geoff Andrew.20 Fingerspresents charto parallel the eye of the vier.nring anothercar. I in Sometimes.IrVhat takes the film beyond Direct Cinema is that this feeling is shared by the director and the viewer: because we are surrounded by digital images of ourselves. The carnera's movements mirror the movements of our eyes when we watch two people having a conversation.ruerlvoyeur..however. where the concern 'was '[h]ow to ccnvey t]re feeling of being there' (Leacock1995. While making Ten.i. the5'can alsodestrol". back and forth between Mania ald Bijan as they talk to and argue n'ith each other.me or them [tbe actors]. Abbas Kiarostami has often commented on Ten as being a film without a director. quoted in Dovey 2004: 557).rts:: :-. However. b e c a u s ir t l r o u g h iI h e _ rn v o u lw o r k b e r l e ri n m \ t i d abseuce. acters whom the audienceis invited to peep at. T'helucidity of performance Digital cinema's allowing room for experimentation can be seen as almost demanding informalify in performance.This kincl of ev-erything belongs fhe actors--uve to your directing. i r l r e i r w n i l r i l r g(2 } u i ) .. repercussions:the fiim's 90 minutes he.Uitimatel3a the just managethe situation.":'"'"" . existing behind the camera as well as in front of it.. Akbari is both the actor and director. 'the privileged form of (.s i n gn o n ' d c r ..**ir+::.) "truth the digital video image has become telling". Ten and 20 Fingerspresent striking.I 20 Fingers I'ollows?enin its use of tight camera angles.

the cabie car arrives at the other side of the snoury r'alley it has crossed and with it the conversation abruptly ends..and rvearrive at much more intimate momentswith them.a'hileabsent-mindedly flossing her teeth. versation between Mania and Bijan rnrhois jealous of her dancing with another man at a pa.r4ngl(iarostami to almost 'discover' the filn as he made it. In ihe fourth sequence. while this is unusual in terms of filmic conventions.r. withoutthe lightsand the Iarge crowdaroundthem.especiaily the r+. quoted in Andrew 2005: 38). In the following sequence..: down from an original 2 3 hours of footage. AlEbari'smersins ol iniimale stories and intimate acts are Digitai cinema: The hransformationof fiim practice and aesthetics 33 ..the cable car journey in sequence2 sets a boundary to the con.the viewer (as observer and audience) may be expected to arrert their gaze.^-'hen they l.mundane actions that are striking in their closenessand intimacy..r'us characters caught off-guard.. Digital cameras also had an impact on the performances. but only do so r. This must be read in the conrexr cf sccietf in iran. Mania orders food and speakswith set her mor-iih full.+i. the perfornances can be seen as intimate as Kiarostami choosesto shor. for they are actions from which.r.+ :. This gave room for the actors to improvise as they rvere being ftimed without interruption from the director: 'while it's diflicult if a scene'sgoing the wrong i.::::.: . I rvait a bii they may if come up with something better than I'd have been able to thinlc up' (Kiarostami 2003... in'real [Te'as well as in Iilmic conrrentions.ii. Kiarostarnicomments: and It's very true that non-actors feel more comfortablein front of a digital camera.omen.ii. So I do believethat a 1iim like Ten couldneverhavebeenmadewith a 35mrncamera.e{4_!*.r..:. the camera focuseson Mania's sister as she v"aits for Mania on her own in the car. rvhere lcoldng at others is heaviiy subjectedto moral codes defining what is permissible and r+rhatis not..:i.tr5z focusing the camera on 'inlerrupting' and t h e s t o r i e sr r ' i t h t h e m u n d a n ea c r i o n so f e v e r y d a y i f e .ishto (Kiarostami 20A\. Mania tells Bijan about a couple vrho have had extrarnarital affairs .osenbaumJ003).i.s attention. This flexibility in perfor. in Ten. mance can be seen as allor.ay. in 20 Fingers the technique worhs to make the conversation further mimic 'real life'.As she argues that she only did that to get Bijan. The cameras are small and non-intrusive to the extent that they are forgotten by the actors (Saeeri-\r-aia F. in a restaurant. The first part of the film lasts 17 minutes. the kid has totally forgot(2005). 'Reai iiie' is also perceived in the fiims through their pu_shingthe boirndaries of what canbe represented. where time is usually manipulateri io fit the narration of a story by characters. In sequericenine. We seeher adjusting her veil and absent-mindedlyscratching her face . The characters1n cars in ?en and 20 Fingerstalk to each other without having to register each other's facial expressions. Ahbari ensures that the audience recognize themselvesin the individuai characters in 2a Fingers.rty.:ti!:.which gives another dimension of freedom to the actors who do not have to look at each other. i The seconcl sequencestarts lrriih a side shot of }v{ania's head as she applies lipstick.and by the end of tirat part. ten the camera Another aspect impacting on performance in the films is their use of moving vehicles.In 20 Fingers. 'i*!..

.e. 9g_l 14. we have probably seen ourselves on video. (2003. (20051. j.com/anericancinenratogiapher/. on video we watch ourselves. 'Intrcductiontc 20 Fingers'.'Digitai Cinema: Ferise A Revoluticn'. London: C. what makes the lilms intriguing is their seemingly contradictory combination of this senseof cioseness and the distanceof observation and surveillance. resembiing that signalling the start of a boxing match.}.v 2005. T. Mania's statement is aiso a self-reflexive comment on her role as both actor and director in the film.uerbetween different cinemas: it is not only the lVest that is the bearer of the gaze. The film itseif emphasizes this point in its last sequence.bbc.vs 12 tu{aicii 20113) http://nev.l:l .+ cinema Iran Season.. f.BBCi. [ontine].i-rl--'2rhi/iechroloeyiJS4ilJl. BFI. ]lelton. gone is the iliusion of seamlessness that cinema traditionally presents. i0. the 'cornbination of quasi-scientific accuracy and voyeui:isticpleasure' (2004: 565).Availabie: P . .vedby a bell. The technology is therefore transforming relationships of por. we are constantly aware that these characters represent different aspects of Iranian society. w-edo not know how we iook on 35mm film. Andrew. and iis linking of the inside of the body and the outside.oneiromthehearrmovie. The audience is less likeiy to identify with individual characters than with the stories they teii. where the real and the photographed come together. However. (1982). Enter"s DigitaiAge'. Mania teils Bijan 'each part is one side of yourself'.. but aiso to enable storyteliing from different cultures and from people who were previousiy unheard. she can be both subject and object.testimon5i to the foregrounding of physicality in digltal cinema.cc. which has a 'distancing and formalizing effect' (Saeed-Vafa and Rosenbaum 2003: 100). 48).i 100r. pp. 12:10am).-' )1tfte )J. This fundamental change in the relation between subject and object is at the heart of digital cinema.ndceA d | / lai. Accessed Ll Februar. lVorks cited Al<bari. In this new cinema.In its piace are "'dead moments" fthat] enhance the impression of documentary authenticity' (Andrer.we now all belong to ihis digitally: perceived world.'vood Chadira. The technology not only has the potential to revive the ossi{iedHollywood cinema. 20 Fingers is more self-reflexive: By playing all the characters themselves. tlmerican cinematographer {lanuary)fOniine]. N{oreover..s. 'Boii1. 'The Electronic Camera Experinlent'.{.'r. or as Dovey puts it.1OrJ. (###BOT_TEXT###amp;'ednesday. Mania and Bijan remove the illusion that we are watching 'real' people. Film is aesthetic. Iv{.f': l --'' ::':'::*-:iari::'""ir. (2005). As iVtania Akbari comments. Ail the tools necessary for a complete industrial {ilm practice are arriving in places that did not have the infrastructure ro support an indigenous cinema.. through this practice. '[t]his is real Iranian life' (Reuters 2OO4).in the role of actors playing a number of characters. QAO2). where Mania and Bijan are revealed as themselves. actober..'''lr":'are r'-::!rF. on film we looh at other people. Tenis brohen dovyn into ten sequencesdivided by the tmage of the number of each sequenceon ihe screen counted dcwn to the souad of film reel roiling follor. Aciam Ganz and Lina Iihatio : :-r'. Avaiiable: http:l/wivw.cruising across a lake in a boat. Brown. video is demotic..sin. chennel (Aired Thursday tu{a_v 14 2005.

Available: http://partners.iranchamber. t2*5j^ N.dl(/the-vow/vow.London: Saqi.AA. September).I+7 6326. l2February 2006.). IssueNo. Available: .v. of Digital cinema: The transforn. AI-Balad(Sunday 26 Habshian.(L996). Art and Otanian.co.London: BFI.independent.uklhlur/intenriews/article322399 Accessed12 February 2006. GtLardian Intert'iew at the NFT. (2004). Hili (eds. (2C0 1).]. (i996).J. 'StevenSoderbergh: The Director's Cur'. 'Remember r.suardian. M. Digital Filmmaking:TheChanging ng Mo tion Pictur es. Accessed lOnline].J./film.{r'arlable: irttp://r^.nytimes. Available: http://www.Vednesda5' (2005b).htmi. Available: Dognre 95 (f 995).573 Accessedi2 February 2006.'eel'Jy. 21: 3. M. Address Mahhmalbaf.P.'On the Set with Video Assist'. A. Available: Accessed http ://r.pp. A. X{urch. 'Mohamed Khan: The Future is Digital'. ir R.htm. H.r''ww.ration film practice and aesthetics 35 . M. W. I arv 2006. (2000). (2005a). Saeed-Vafa. May 2000.moviecrazed. thag?' Moviecra:ed [Onlinel. (2004).E. (2004. Dogme95 (13 lt{iuch) fOnline].soc.egl200416941clt5"htm I2 February 2U06.com/cinema/articles/digital*revolution-future-cine ma. hffn:i. El-Assyouti.lntL"tll'. (799516). Studjes 'CitizenK'. -(\.rrs/cgi-bin/ iran-nern s/exec/r'iewcgil 2 / 3 68 5' Accessed 12 February 2006. Kiarostami. (Falli'Winter) fOnline].Cirristie. (1999). Thelndependent 26 October 2005) fOnlinel. S.html. Accessed 12 February 2006. '\i-AfuamWeeklg. TheCinema AbbasKiarostami.L9-22. Goimakani. (1992). {in Arabic). Abbas Iilinois Press.php.Persian iotLrnnl (8 September2004) [On]inel. A. Making Movies.Ociober15/16 pp."hram.org.com/gu1-movieslpaul-bettany. New York Times (2 May 1999) fOnline]. Lesbianism. Cinemain the Digital Age. 2005' Transcript available: 7. (10-16 ]une. FiIm Quarterlv. London: Routledge. (2003).)The Televisiort Dovey.A" and Phillips. at Cannes Fesiival. and Rosenbaum.r. Iran ChamberSociety [Online]. FTL4agaitu. Accessed12 February 2006.49: 3. 'Through the Looking Glasses: From the Camera Obscura to Geuens. Video Assist'. Oxford : Focal Press. Le Grice. Accessed February 2OO6' http://m.vhen princely Paul Bettany was a blood-thirsty Flatley. Availabie: http ://n'wvu iranian. Frediani. pp. April 28. (2005). I{iarostami. 694) M.org/opcam/mgO7-1w9596. Accessed 2 Febru h ttp://wrwr'. A4ligltal Cinema of the Mind? Could Be'. 'Cinema: Nqnr Times.ADefiningMornent'. Available: 12 html. 5 5 7-5 68. (2004). Experimental New Yorlc:Knopl Lumet.r'r.dogmeq 'Camcorder Cults'. 76-26.ece' http://enjo1'ment. 21.. CraJtoi Maki 'The Digital Revoiution and The Future Cinema'. Kiarostami. of Elena.pp. T. Reuters (2004). 'Tire Von' of Chastity'.com/library/film/0 502 9 gfuture-film.Urbana: University of N'I.co. H. (2005). (2000).ul</interview/interviewpages/0. S. OperatingCameraman. Allen and A.C. Reader. G. Iranian Film Ventures into Adultery. p.IndexonCensorship. r. Same Problems'. 70 onTenlDYDl. (2C02).

#?l'1lii.i.t "pttt"ntations Tauris 2006).'fl:Xf.' ContribuLordetails ^r r ^-.21.r.t."'-rilms'cgi?page:tech'orogv'Acces 2 I I Februarv 006' citation Suggested of 'Digitalti":Tu. Tw200EX' ngnu*'sunev ganz@rhul'ac'uk n-*uit' adam.A. The transformation film praciice 1'21I 1 Canz.it#ttrtil.f Arab (r'B' and''he \No.:::#t.or. Department".i*ffi :l"J:ml:fr't?i1^' "l'i-"'rv:T:'*#i#ili#*l?.L' (2006)' pp 2t-36' doi: 1O'138 6/ncin'4' i" 1' N'* and aesthetics'. *yal Hoiloway. and Televisionschool the "u*o"a*l*Iint"trsit. r' :' " : :Yrr: . . A{amGanzisalecturer-in}vlediaArtsatRoyalHollowav'UniversityofLondon. & Khatib.."..lle tv ptstgraduate studv in Film studiedEnglishu. ""a Departmentof NlediaArt' Royal Holiorvay' .:a:-.'-ii"iin'^os.fu' disital formats' Contact: uK' .iJ.kh atib@rhul' Adam Ganz and Lina Khal 36 \ ."i. of Media Arts Cinyra a-t'{re Department Dr Lina Khatib is leciurer in I//orl-C at . n*t tt"*th theory' Coniact: Lina anr3postcolonial Easternpoiitics..university I(hatib.illff.rtd' Y..i.'-:-i+a--.London: Pengurn' Sontag.*.oaoo. S' (2002)' OnPhotography' Thirty Yeats' ' Amencan 'fttftttofo*'ul I"nnovators {or N{ore Than (2005).laiaor" iluslr..Egham' *r. Zoetrope *I. oiri" UK' TW20 OEX' SurreY ac'ul< g-*uU.*' of London. Iina.Hoilvwoad include *Jdiu oi L'Iiddie il.?.:.nirgyefNational Film Practiceat the universtt of shortsin both Iilm and direcieda number riirectorscourse'He has *ti"tt "..

Related Interests

el1 not p r e s e n o n t h e s e ' .. and in the performance of the actors within this zone.v reiationship resuited in a transformation of the space filmed.soI \. I br. t h e r e s p . This ner. we are more familiar with the aesthetics of the digital image. But the movement of the camera is also used Like Ten.. .vebeen ediied . create. naturai perforrnances by non-professional actors. Adam Canz and Lina Khatib ii#r. believing that distancing himself frorn the shoots makes the actors more comfortable: It's di{ficulttc see'. we are surrounded by digital images of ourselves. therefore. r L oc . 20 Fingers' naturalized camera raovements can be seen as a revival of the ethos of 19 60s' Direct Cinema.Akbari chooses to have one camera filming the actors. ' o o I !Drr1ts urBrLdL viuuu -i-- lr^i4^1 --:l^^ vdthcr:t financial inealt that Kiarostami ccr. :c a n d o .12 i. giving the film a more natural feel and a sense of immediacy As Dovey argues. i t s n o t h i n gr r u c hy o . lVhile shootingTenl vzas sitting in the backseat. he compared directing t$e film to rnanaging a footbail team.lvasfollo-.rho's duector. think.Ahbari ailows the camera to move.. signifying authenticity and an indexical reproduction of the real world' QOA4: 557).rt didn't interlere. from mobile phone images to famiiy videos to CCTV to accidentaily appearing on television. Lh r i \ i r s o i r .. panning left and right. r nu l e sa n d r e a l l )t e q u i r e t h a rv o u s ra a l l o i rt h e .:: I 'rrr: 11":c.y o uc r n s m o l t e c i g a r e t L e g e i n e r v o u s .vith many Directors don't ailvays too r d e m r n d sl. is very similarto being a footbaiicoach. Kiarostami often directed the actors from the bach seat of the car. while in 20 Fingers.t r t or a b you can't do much.instead of cutting between the two characters in each of the seven sequences. .rlduse a high shooting ratir.Youprepare I p l a v e r a r r d i a c e h e mi n t h e r i g h tp l a c e sb r r lo n c er h eg a r n es o n . In an interview with Geoff Andrew.20 Fingerspresents charto parallel the eye of the vier.nring anothercar. I in Sometimes.IrVhat takes the film beyond Direct Cinema is that this feeling is shared by the director and the viewer: because we are surrounded by digital images of ourselves. The carnera's movements mirror the movements of our eyes when we watch two people having a conversation.ruerlvoyeur..however. where the concern 'was '[h]ow to ccnvey t]re feeling of being there' (Leacock1995. While making Ten.i. the5'can alsodestrol". back and forth between Mania ald Bijan as they talk to and argue n'ith each other.me or them [tbe actors]. Abbas Kiarostami has often commented on Ten as being a film without a director. quoted in Dovey 2004: 557).rts:: :-. However. b e c a u s ir t l r o u g h iI h e _ rn v o u lw o r k b e r l e ri n m \ t i d abseuce. acters whom the audienceis invited to peep at. T'helucidity of performance Digital cinema's allowing room for experimentation can be seen as almost demanding informalify in performance.This kincl of ev-erything belongs fhe actors--uve to your directing. i r l r e i r w n i l r i l r g(2 } u i ) .. repercussions:the fiim's 90 minutes he.Uitimatel3a the just managethe situation.":'"'"" . existing behind the camera as well as in front of it.. Akbari is both the actor and director. 'the privileged form of (.s i n gn o n ' d c r ..**ir+::.) "truth the digital video image has become telling". Ten and 20 Fingerspresent striking.I 20 Fingers I'ollows?enin its use of tight camera angles.

the cabie car arrives at the other side of the snoury r'alley it has crossed and with it the conversation abruptly ends..and rvearrive at much more intimate momentswith them.a'hileabsent-mindedly flossing her teeth. versation between Mania and Bijan rnrhois jealous of her dancing with another man at a pa.r4ngl(iarostami to almost 'discover' the filn as he made it. In ihe fourth sequence. while this is unusual in terms of filmic conventions.r. withoutthe lightsand the Iarge crowdaroundthem.especiaily the r+. quoted in Andrew 2005: 38). In the following sequence..: down from an original 2 3 hours of footage. AlEbari'smersins ol iniimale stories and intimate acts are Digitai cinema: The hransformationof fiim practice and aesthetics 33 ..the cable car journey in sequence2 sets a boundary to the con.the viewer (as observer and audience) may be expected to arrert their gaze.^-'hen they l.mundane actions that are striking in their closenessand intimacy..r'us characters caught off-guard.. Digital cameras also had an impact on the performances. but only do so r. This must be read in the conrexr cf sccietf in iran. Mania orders food and speakswith set her mor-iih full.+i. the perfornances can be seen as intimate as Kiarostami choosesto shor. for they are actions from which.r.+ :. This gave room for the actors to improvise as they rvere being ftimed without interruption from the director: 'while it's diflicult if a scene'sgoing the wrong i.::::.: . I rvait a bii they may if come up with something better than I'd have been able to thinlc up' (Kiarostami 2003... in'real [Te'as well as in Iilmic conrrentions.ii. Kiarostarnicomments: and It's very true that non-actors feel more comfortablein front of a digital camera.omen.ii. So I do believethat a 1iim like Ten couldneverhavebeenmadewith a 35mrncamera.e{4_!*.r..:. the camera focuseson Mania's sister as she v"aits for Mania on her own in the car. rvhere lcoldng at others is heaviiy subjectedto moral codes defining what is permissible and r+rhatis not..:i.tr5z focusing the camera on 'inlerrupting' and t h e s t o r i e sr r ' i t h t h e m u n d a n ea c r i o n so f e v e r y d a y i f e .ishto (Kiarostami 20A\. Mania tells Bijan about a couple vrho have had extrarnarital affairs .osenbaumJ003).i.s attention. This flexibility in perfor. in Ten. mance can be seen as allor.ay. in 20 Fingers the technique worhs to make the conversation further mimic 'real life'.As she argues that she only did that to get Bijan. The cameras are small and non-intrusive to the extent that they are forgotten by the actors (Saeeri-\r-aia F. in a restaurant. The first part of the film lasts 17 minutes. the kid has totally forgot(2005). 'Reai iiie' is also perceived in the fiims through their pu_shingthe boirndaries of what canbe represented. where time is usually manipulateri io fit the narration of a story by characters. In sequericenine. We seeher adjusting her veil and absent-mindedlyscratching her face . The characters1n cars in ?en and 20 Fingerstalk to each other without having to register each other's facial expressions. Ahbari ensures that the audience recognize themselvesin the individuai characters in 2a Fingers.rty.:ti!:.which gives another dimension of freedom to the actors who do not have to look at each other. i The seconcl sequencestarts lrriih a side shot of }v{ania's head as she applies lipstick.and by the end of tirat part. ten the camera Another aspect impacting on performance in the films is their use of moving vehicles.In 20 Fingers. 'i*!..

.e. 9g_l 14. we have probably seen ourselves on video. (2003. (20051. j.com/anericancinenratogiapher/. on video we watch ourselves. 'Intrcductiontc 20 Fingers'.'Digitai Cinema: Ferise A Revoluticn'. London: C. what makes the lilms intriguing is their seemingly contradictory combination of this senseof cioseness and the distanceof observation and surveillance. resembiing that signalling the start of a boxing match.}.v 2005. T. Mania's statement is aiso a self-reflexive comment on her role as both actor and director in the film.uerbetween different cinemas: it is not only the lVest that is the bearer of the gaze. The film itseif emphasizes this point in its last sequence.bbc.vs 12 tu{aicii 20113) http://nev.l:l .+ cinema Iran Season.. f.BBCi. [ontine].i-rl--'2rhi/iechroloeyiJS4ilJl. BFI. ]lelton. gone is the iliusion of seamlessness that cinema traditionally presents. i0. the 'cornbination of quasi-scientific accuracy and voyeui:isticpleasure' (2004: 565).Availabie: P . .vedby a bell. The technology is therefore transforming relationships of por. we are constantly aware that these characters represent different aspects of Iranian society. w-edo not know how we iook on 35mm film. Andrew. and iis linking of the inside of the body and the outside.oneiromthehearrmovie. The audience is less likeiy to identify with individual characters than with the stories they teii. where the real and the photographed come together. However. (1982). Enter"s DigitaiAge'. Mania teils Bijan 'each part is one side of yourself'.. but aiso to enable storyteliing from different cultures and from people who were previousiy unheard. she can be both subject and object.testimon5i to the foregrounding of physicality in digltal cinema.cc. which has a 'distancing and formalizing effect' (Saeed-Vafa and Rosenbaum 2003: 100). 48).i 100r. pp. 12:10am).-' )1tfte )J. This fundamental change in the relation between subject and object is at the heart of digital cinema.ndceA d | / lai. Accessed Ll Februar. lVorks cited Al<bari. In this new cinema.In its piace are "'dead moments" fthat] enhance the impression of documentary authenticity' (Andrer.we now all belong to ihis digitally: perceived world.'vood Chadira. The technology not only has the potential to revive the ossi{iedHollywood cinema. 20 Fingers is more self-reflexive: By playing all the characters themselves. tlmerican cinematographer {lanuary)fOniine]. N{oreover..s. 'Boii1. 'The Electronic Camera Experinlent'.{.'r. or as Dovey puts it.1OrJ. (###BOT_TEXT###amp;'ednesday. Mania and Bijan remove the illusion that we are watching 'real' people. Film is aesthetic. Iv{.f': l --'' ::':'::*-:iari::'""ir. (2005). As iVtania Akbari comments. Ail the tools necessary for a complete industrial {ilm practice are arriving in places that did not have the infrastructure ro support an indigenous cinema.. through this practice. '[t]his is real Iranian life' (Reuters 2OO4).in the role of actors playing a number of characters. QAO2). where Mania and Bijan are revealed as themselves. actober..'''lr":'are r'-::!rF. on film we looh at other people. Tenis brohen dovyn into ten sequencesdivided by the tmage of the number of each sequenceon ihe screen counted dcwn to the souad of film reel roiling follor. Aciam Ganz and Lina Iihatio : :-r'. Avaiiable: http:l/wivw.cruising across a lake in a boat. Brown. video is demotic..sin. chennel (Aired Thursday tu{a_v 14 2005.

Available: http://partners.iranchamber. t2*5j^ N.dl(/the-vow/vow.London: Saqi.AA. September).I+7 6326. l2February 2006.). IssueNo. Available: .v. of Digital cinema: The transforn. AI-Balad(Sunday 26 Habshian.(L996). Art and Otanian.co.London: BFI.independent.uklhlur/intenriews/article322399 Accessed12 February 2006. GtLardian Intert'iew at the NFT. (2004). Hili (eds. (2C0 1).]. (i996).J. 'StevenSoderbergh: The Director's Cur'. 'Remember r.suardian. M. Digital Filmmaking:TheChanging ng Mo tion Pictur es. Accessed lOnline].J./film.{r'arlable: irttp://r^.nytimes. Available: http://www.Vednesda5' (2005b).htmi. Available: Dognre 95 (f 995).573 Accessedi2 February 2006.'eel'Jy. 21: 3. M. Address Mahhmalbaf.P.'On the Set with Video Assist'. A. Available: Accessed http ://r.pp. A. X{urch. 'Mohamed Khan: The Future is Digital'. ir R.htm. H.r''ww.ration film practice and aesthetics 35 . M. W. I arv 2006. (2000). (2005a). Saeed-Vafa. May 2000.moviecrazed. thag?' Moviecra:ed [Onlinel. (2004).E. (2004. Dogme95 (13 lt{iuch) fOnline].soc.egl200416941clt5"htm I2 February 2U06.com/cinema/articles/digital*revolution-future-cine ma. hffn:i. El-Assyouti.lntL"tll'. (799516). Studjes 'CitizenK'. -(\.rrs/cgi-bin/ iran-nern s/exec/r'iewcgil 2 / 3 68 5' Accessed 12 February 2006. Kiarostami. (Falli'Winter) fOnline].Cirristie. (1999). Thelndependent 26 October 2005) fOnlinel. S.html. Accessed 12 February 2006. '\i-AfuamWeeklg. TheCinema AbbasKiarostami.L9-22. Goimakani. (1992). {in Arabic). Abbas Iilinois Press.php.Persian iotLrnnl (8 September2004) [On]inel. A. Making Movies.Ociober15/16 pp."hram.org.com/gu1-movieslpaul-bettany. New York Times (2 May 1999) fOnline]. Lesbianism. Cinemain the Digital Age. 2005' Transcript available: 7. (10-16 ]une. FiIm Quarterlv. London: Routledge. (2003).)The Televisiort Dovey.A" and Phillips. at Cannes Fesiival. and Rosenbaum.r. Iran ChamberSociety [Online]. FTL4agaitu. Accessed12 February 2006.49: 3. 'Through the Looking Glasses: From the Camera Obscura to Geuens. Video Assist'. Oxford : Focal Press. Le Grice. Accessed February 2OO6' http://m.vhen princely Paul Bettany was a blood-thirsty Flatley. Availabie: http ://n'wvu iranian. Frediani. pp. April 28. (2005). I{iarostami. 694) M.org/opcam/mgO7-1w9596. Accessed 2 Febru h ttp://wrwr'. A4ligltal Cinema of the Mind? Could Be'. 'Cinema: Nqnr Times.ADefiningMornent'. Available: 12 html. 5 5 7-5 68. (2004). Experimental New Yorlc:Knopl Lumet.r'r.dogmeq 'Camcorder Cults'. 76-26.ece' http://enjo1'ment. 21.. CraJtoi Maki 'The Digital Revoiution and The Future Cinema'. Kiarostami. of Elena.pp. T. Reuters (2004). 'Tire Von' of Chastity'.com/library/film/0 502 9 gfuture-film.Urbana: University of N'I.co. H. (2005). (2000).ul</interview/interviewpages/0. S. OperatingCameraman. Allen and A.C. Reader. G. Iranian Film Ventures into Adultery. p.IndexonCensorship. r. Same Problems'. 70 onTenlDYDl. (2C02).

#?l'1lii.i.t "pttt"ntations Tauris 2006).'fl:Xf.' ContribuLordetails ^r r ^-.21.r.t."'-rilms'cgi?page:tech'orogv'Acces 2 I I Februarv 006' citation Suggested of 'Digitalti":Tu. Tw200EX' ngnu*'sunev ganz@rhul'ac'uk n-*uit' adam.A. The transformation film praciice 1'21I 1 Canz.it#ttrtil.f Arab (r'B' and''he \No.:::#t.or. Department".i*ffi :l"J:ml:fr't?i1^' "l'i-"'rv:T:'*#i#ili#*l?.L' (2006)' pp 2t-36' doi: 1O'138 6/ncin'4' i" 1' N'* and aesthetics'. *yal Hoiloway. and Televisionschool the "u*o"a*l*Iint"trsit. r' :' " : :Yrr: . . A{amGanzisalecturer-in}vlediaArtsatRoyalHollowav'UniversityofLondon. & Khatib.."..lle tv ptstgraduate studv in Film studiedEnglishu. ""a Departmentof NlediaArt' Royal Holiorvay' .:a:-.'-ii"iin'^os.fu' disital formats' Contact: uK' .iJ.kh atib@rhul' Adam Ganz and Lina Khal 36 \ ."i. of Media Arts Cinyra a-t'{re Department Dr Lina Khatib is leciurer in I//orl-C at . n*t tt"*th theory' Coniact: Lina anr3postcolonial Easternpoiitics..university I(hatib.illff.rtd' Y..i.'-:-i+a--.London: Pengurn' Sontag.*.oaoo. S' (2002)' OnPhotography' Thirty Yeats' ' Amencan 'fttftttofo*'ul I"nnovators {or N{ore Than (2005).laiaor" iluslr..Egham' *r. Zoetrope *I. oiri" UK' TW20 OEX' SurreY ac'ul< g-*uU.*' of London. Iina.Hoilvwoad include *Jdiu oi L'Iiddie il.?.:.nirgyefNational Film Practiceat the universtt of shortsin both Iilm and direcieda number riirectorscourse'He has *ti"tt "..

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