"CLAUSTROPHOBIA" DIRECTED BY DOMINIKA BESINSKA, PRODUCED BY GLENDHA TAFNY
When thinking about 'SPACE', the first thing that comes to my mind is freedom. As far as I'm concerned, 'SPACE' has a very wide meaning, as I consider it to be everything that surrounds us. Our personal space. Individuality. Privacy. Therefore, when thinking about the lack of space, I think about the feeling of claustrophobia. However, I don't mean the kind of claustrophobia we get when we're stuck in the elevator or when someone turns the lights off. Not the fear of waking up in a coffin. What I mean is not the fear of tight space in the literal meaning of this word, but the feeling of being unable to breathe or stand stably, when there is not enough space around. Imagine an urban area, a huge, overcrowded city, like Tokyo, Hong Kong, New York or London itself. The city where you barely can find any place to escape the world. Wherever you go to, there are thousands of people, cars, noises and pollutions. Now, imagine being in a state of mind when you need to escape the world, when you need privacy, freedom and peace.
"Claustrophobia" is an experimental short film about a mental fear of tight space. We wanted to use the subject of claustrophobia, as a fear of big, urban cities and particularly crowded places. Throughout the use of various images and sound we wanted to present a human fear of the world.
'CLAUSTROPHOBIA' FRAME BY FRAME
We used 28 different images on the projections and each one of them symbolises something different. Although its structure may seem rather simple it has a beginning, a middle and an end. Let me start from the beginning with three similar images on the projections. Why did we decide to start our film with blood? Most importantly to create the atmosphere of fear and danger. Blood symbolises the pain, not necessarily a physical pain, but the inner, mental pain. The second image of ink represents the dirt of urban city and the image of smoke stands for pollutions. Those three images together are a symbolic introduction to what we're going to show in the next minutes.
Sound is a very relevant part of our film. Which is why, the next images reveal sources of the noise, things that are particularly annoying to the viewer's ears, such as machines, factories, vehicles, media hype etc.
Within the next couple of frames are similar to each other and they all present urban city confusion. Buildings, skyscrapers, city rush, lights and traffic noise, that's everything what surrounds us in a daily life in a huge city. We wanted to show it, as something extremely overwhelming for an individual human being. The character in our film is supposed to show her feeling of fear and exhaustion.
Light and darkness. In those images we're focusing more on a literal meaning of claustrophobia. Darkness is something what causes that feeling. Even though some people are more sensitive about it than others, we all are at least a bit scared of finding ourselves in a dark room. Being in a space with no light stimulates human's senses. Being completely blind for what surrounds us is terrifying. The light bulb is a small source of light that symbolises hope and the rescue. Fire. Imagine being close to the fire and feeling this terrible heat and smoke, which doesn't let you breathe or see properly. I believe, this is one of the most claustrophobic situations we can find ourselves in. This is a literal meaning of fear and in our film it's a symbol for the same kind of feeling, but in a normal daily situation. The clock. It symbolises the time passing by, the world rushing. People are always rushing somewhere and never find a second to stop and appreciate the moment. The time-lapse of a subway stands for the same thing and it represents the overwhelming noise and pollution.
From the beginning to the middle of the film the girl is getting more and more scared with every space she got into. In the middle we put the images of smoke again, the smoke itself and the smoke from factory chimney's. When the film comes to an end the smoke image connects with the image of clouds. It goes from a scary smoke cloud in the night to a natural image of the clouds in the reflection of the building. In those images below we connect the urban area with nature. We break a barrier between fear and state of calm. At this point the girl is starting to calm down, she looks around, finds herself outdoors in a nicer place than the previous ones and gets the feeling of freedom.
Throughout the use of clay on her body we wanted to create the feeling of someone being released, setting free from this inner pain. The clay symbolises the dirt of the world, pollution. It's a symbolic cage, prison. It represents the feeling of being imprisoned in the world.