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Interviwing Theresa


The sound of my footsteps on the pavements of the sidewalk,
leaves rustling in the wind on the ground,
wind whispering from the above in the leaves and branches of the trees and
the sound of someone’s footsteps running from behind and then gasping,
sound of few cars passing by once in a while…I’m walking along Central Park, on 5th avenue, between 96th and 90th streets. It is 9 o’clock at night.
On the 90th I turn right and go into the park,
Getting close to the steps which lead to Jacqueline Kennedy Reservoir I can hear nothing but crickets singing all together,
the sound of the water that smashes into the stones of the edges of the reservoir,
the sound of grasses dancing in the wind and
every once in a while the sound of footsteps running and passing by fast and fading out in the silence.

Defining a space



The scene I chose is a scene from Wong Kar-Wai’s  “In the Mood for Love”  (2001).  This is the scene after Mrs.Chan had told Mr.Chow it’s better for them not to meet each other anymore, but after just a day Mr.Chow calls Mrs.Chan’s office and we see Mrs.Chan’s worried face that asks him where are you? On the next shot we see her close up in the cab, worried. So she is going to meet him. The next shot which is part of the scene I’m writing about is happening in the hotel that Mr.Chow is staying in. First we have a medium close up of Mrs.Chan’s legs going up the stairs in a rush and we just hear the sound of her high heels moving fast. And then some jump cuts again to her legs and then her back descending the stairs, changing directions, going up and down that transfers the feeling of anxiety and doubt. Then we have a long shot seeing just her face and upper body, the rest is behind the short wall in z-axis. Then again there is a medium close up of her legs going forward in a narrow hallway with red curtains and cut to a medium shot of her back closing to the end of the hallway, then again we have her descending the stairs. These shots of her going back and forth show her anxiety and doubt.  Then we have a medium close up of Mr.Chow in a frame that half of it is red curtains, camera here is fixed on his face, worried and in deep thoughts, and of the smoke coming up we understand he is smoking and then we have his hand with a cigarette that’s been smoked half way. Then we have a long deep shot of the hallway with all these bloody red curtains and after a moment the door of the room at the end of the hallway opens and Mrs.Chan comes out with the red rain coat. We see her in a extreme long shot at the end of the corridor talking to Mr.Chow who we just see half of his body coming out of the doorway. They have a dialogue here and then it cuts to Mr.Chow close up staring at Mrs.Chan and then Mrs.Chan’s close up and then again Mr.Chow’s close up saying: “I didn’t think you’d come” and then Mrs.Chan’s close up saying: “We are not like them” “see you tomorrow” and a medium close up of Mr.Chow closing the door which we can see the number 2046 on the door, which is the name of Kar-Way’s nexst movie. The final shot of this scene is a dolly shot of Mrs.Chan from the back going away from the camera, actually camera pulls out of her and at the end we see her long shot at the end of the hallway where her figure is fixed for a moment as though she is thinking or hesitating. The color of the curtains and her rain coat, the bloody red, gets the feeling of love or even some sexual and erotic feeling.

Creative Statement

I was born in Iran, a country with a rich and diverse culture, which has many different ethnicities and subcultures embodied in it.  I grew up in Tehran and lived there until last year, when I moved to New York City.

It was always my dream to travel around my country and experience the life within different societies. I have always been very passionate about traveling, and I love the fact that it expands your view of the world and life. I love exploring new places, new people, new cultures and the adventure of all these.

Following my passion and interests in different cultures, I studied anthropology and traveled all over my country, north to south and east to west. I lived with the Qashgqaii nomads, pastoral nomads from Southwest Iran.  I traveled with them, learned to shepherd, milked the sheep and goats, baked bread, etc…

I worked on urban projects as well, including ethnographies on different neighborhoods in Tehran, where I studied the human interactions within those areas.  I also did a two- year intensive research project on shrines of Tehran and their impact on inhabitants’ everyday life and their beliefs as citizens of a developing city.

During these trips and field works, I have taken numerous photos and recorded several hours of videos. Through these experiences, I realized the effectiveness and power of an image. It is interesting how a picture frame or a few minutes of a film can be much more effective than several written pages.

Beside these experiences, I was inspired by the works of Jean Rouch, one of the few anthropologists who was proficient at cinema as well. Unfortunately, most of the ethnographic movies made by anthropologists are not successful in attracting the public audience. Jean Rouch was one of the exceptions who was skillful in both cinema and anthropology.

Moreover, I worked on a project by BBC WORLD, called Taste of Iran; a series of four documentaries on different parts of Iran and its culture through its cuisine. I worked as the researcher on two of the series directed by Bahman Kiarostami. Being involved in the process of making a documentary, attracted me even more towards documentary film-making. I have been amazed by the adventurous process of making a documentary and the fact that it is full of unpredictable moments that will open new doors and windows.

Through this medium, I want to explore and capture different cultures around the world. The world is full of stories that I want to discover and share them through images. I think this medium is the best way to connect with a wide range of audiences.