Abbas Kiarostami

This is another installation at the San Francisco MOMA. This time, Iranian director Kiarostami explores the relationship between voyeur, life, and technology. Since this is an installation, it's worth spending some time on the space in which the film is seen.

The surrounding space is very dark. On the floor is a slightly elevated platform painted black. It's about 6-8 inches off the floor and it serves as the screen. The projector is mounted on the ceiling and beams the picture down to the floor. The original POV of the camera is the same as the projected image. Somewhere in this configuration is the magic of perception in which the subjects seem to have more depth than they would had the same film been shown on a wall.

The subject of the movie is a couple sleeping in bed. Their clothing and the sheets are a bright white and they are projected on the floor at proportions that seem life sized. The viewer stands over the screen and takes part in the voyeurism. Overhead there are speakers that spill the street sounds of the city. The couple toss around in bed and change sleeping positions. The movie is about 90 minutes long and is shown in a loop.

The director is known for being less concerned with the traditional story line (beginning, conflict, resolution, end) and has even won the SF Film Society's Akira Kurosawa award.

There's something compelling about the orientation of the screen, the crispness of the white fabric on black backgrounds, the proportions and the subject. I watched for 30 minutes. You become engaged as the camera/voyeur.

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