Film survey is one of six courses on my first semester of media foundation program at Humber college. In this course they taught us how to critique a movie and in the last assignment I had to write about a short movie and explain how the movie-maker made meaning. The instructor asked, “In a short 500-600 word answer, written in complete sentences and paragraphs, discuss how aspects of two of the following categories create meaning in the short film of your choosing: the tools of film-making (e,g. Composition, camera movement, lighting, editing, music, narrative, acting); the four film-making traditions (Fiction, documentary, experimental, animated); Genre (e.g. Drama, science-fiction, horror)”.
I chose “Cutaway” by a Canadian filmmaker who create a massive piece of art that shows an event of a worker all in inserts.
Forty-four clips in six minute and forty-six second made a short movie named Cutaway by Kazik Radwanski that is a cutaway of a man’s life who is a construction worker. While the man placing a pipe in an ongoing renovation building, an ongoing life finds trouble to build. There is no face and all shots captured from the man’s hand or hands. Radwanski showing an overused story, but he made Cutaway by unique way in film-making. A collection of inserts, even sometimes on foreground or background, took more attention and interest for his audience. The director made a drama short movie that sound is a unique character.
Cutaway is a serious film which happening in a real world with all realistic things that we can see it every day. These are two important characteristic of drama genre that identify this movie as a drama. Another important characteristic of drama is conflicts which in this movie is person vs. self and person vs person. Also, the first picture in Cutaway is a person hands that drilling ground which follows a drama rule: shows the main character, but in the same time breaking the rule while shots are close up. Usually a drama or most of narrative movies began or has a long shot to show the setting. Radwanski by breaking this rule and keep capturing in close up tried to sell his cliché story to us.
A hard worker man lost a baby. This short, simple and boring sentence is the subject of this cliché movie, but the theme of this six and forty-six second can not be same from groups of audience. Radwanski walked on edge while used an overused story in the most common genre in cinema, but he knew his drama’s rule and his camera could turn a boring story to an interesting one. Also, we might can say he follows a mathematical formula that negative times negative equals positive.
This positive formula to narrate the story follows in sound as well. There is no music which is metaphor of rhythm, and talk about the man rhythm’s life. Also, there is no dialog between characters that is a symbol of communication, and tell us about his connections. The most important is the first clip comes with the man’s hand and sound, but last scene finishes with sound on a black screen. Sound of breaking stone at the first place with a machine and the last clip with a hummer: same sound; different cause. He is sniffing that says he is cold. He is crying that says he is sad. There is ambient in store, subway, bar that says he is not a social man. There is mobile typing sound that says he is a quiet man. There is only a clip with nature sound: last clip, number forty-four. Birds are singing while sun is shining, the only sunshine in the movie, that says winter is over; spring is coming.
In the winter a baby died, so in spring a man is born. Sound is a character or at least a narrator in this drama short film.
Radwanski in Cutaway narrated a cliché story with different and variety theme while he broke drama rules and used sound as a character. He presented this film to his father that shows he is belong to working class who talk about their life and troubles. Therefore, he knows that someone his father face can shows emotion, but this is a hand that can transfer it and make connection. A connection like the pipe placed with the man after cutting metal with a grinder.
It’s been a season that I didn’t write here. Well, as you know the autumn, I said is loading, officially finished three days ago on an Iranian holiday: Yalda Night. It was my sixth Yalda without family. This night is similar to turkey day in North America which families spending the last night of autumn together. Yalda Night is the longest night on the Solar Calendar. Iranian celebrate the birth of Mithra, the Sun God, who symbolised light and thanked for blessings from over two thousand years ago. Any way, now winter is here and tonight Canada celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, and I celebrate my success in college. All this fall, I was so busy with my life as a single independent secondary student which it was excited and exhausted in the same time.
I’m so happy that finally I went to the college especially in my second language. When I supposed to be a freshman at university, I had too many difficulties back then. By the time, I found what’s wrong with me and I fixed it in my new home. Thus, I was so excited about been a freshman while someone can say a 29 years old man can not be one. I have an opinion instead of a prof, or it’s a theory, that I am raising again in Canada.
Two and half years ago, when I landed, it was too hard for me to asked for a cup of coffee with a broken English, so I went to an adult school to learn English as a second language, here calls ESL. In ESL classes at my local adult school, they had a mandatory partnership courses: With ESL A, drama; with ESL B, civil and career; with ESL C, geography and the last ESL course was D that they taught us how to write an essay with history class in partnership. The school has focus on writing and reading skills; for listening and speaking I should practice on society. After an education year I learned how to performing with drama class, how business and politic work here with civil and career classes, what is the shape of country by study geography and last partnership course taught me the history of Canada.
These are the real courses in Canadian education system which high school students learn it as well. In the second year, grade nine to twelve English classes and a mandatory course to catch the Ontario diploma. After all, I went to the college and most of students are under nineteen. Also, at work, from a kitchen job to street fundraising, I learned to speak better and how the culture really is here. All steps that I took are looks like to toddle for me. Step by step I ran patiently for my future. I toddle by Canada hands and learned how to walk, speak, learn, live and survive here.
I was marginalized by my mother society because I am from a minority ethnic in Iran; I found different beliefs and I am gay. I was a depressed domestic migrant teenager who lost his father at age fourteen and found himself different with his classmates, neighbors and even family. For long time I was ashamed to say I am belonging to my ethnic because in north of Iran, where my family moved, make fun on my people. I was scared of conservative people in place I raised to show my different political and regulars ideology which was one of the causes of getting out of high school, and I hated people tried to be kind because I lost my father. The worst part came while I found I am gay in a country that they sentence same-sex act to death penalty. Even I was different with members of my family who loves me. I will write more about it in “To the West” posts.
A marginalized domestic migrant who is an ex-refugee and migrant as a person of colour in North America that passed too many trauma can have too many post trauma stress disorder, PTSD. And I had bad one this fall, but do you know what happened? I finished this semester, my first semester ever, with 86 percent GPA.
I was looking for over 80 to apply for film and television production program. The best in the country at Humber college that from 900 application they accept just 90 students, ten percent chance. Now they asked me to apply for bachelor of film and media production. I ran for it, I was in competition with English native kids, and I did it all by myself. It was hard and made me tired.
So excited and too exhausted is my feeling about fall 2018. A year that we are about finish it, and I start new year with celebrate of my success.