A car may be the most inconvenient and difficult setting for a film. I made a sixteen-minute movie which took place almost entirely in a car, and I ended up at one point crying from the frustrations. The three actors and I didn't leave so much space left for the camera, and so the entire process was pretty claustrophobic. A car contains, it bottles up emotions, variation, and open-mindedness. Ten (2002) is a film that works well because instead of combating these elements as I had done, it uses them instead. Abbas Kiarostami is no stranger to using a car in his films; as he says in Ten On 10 (2004), it is his favorite location. But unlike his other films that have used a car extensively, Ten takes place exclusively from within the car.
[...] Even more, we know that Abbas Kiarostami is shooting a film, but we also know and care about the inner lives of the characters. We're allowed to know what they want to know and more. We've got a jump on reality Voyeurism: Another draw of the film is its voyeuristic feel, highlighted by the other drivers trying to see in the car. The film, because of its digital format and minimalist takes, feels like a documentary. But unlike a documentary, the actors don't recognize the camera. [...]
[...] When driving her sister, the driver runs into a sort of traffic block. Was this staged or improvised? Their conversation stops as they remark on the driver that almost hit them. One can see a policeman out the window, directing traffic. There doesn't seem to be any reason for this break in the conversation, but who can tell for sure? Later in the scene, they pass an old lady. The sister says, “Watch out for this old and smiles when she says, “She's on her last legs now.” As the driver slows down to ask the old woman if she needs a ride, the sister smiles nervously and makes a priceless face. [...]
[...] If the passengers know they are headed somewhere more comfortable, they are probably more willing to spill their guts or say what they mean. This also leads to stimulating dialogues in Ten Camera Placement and Use: Additionally, the camera placement contains the perfect combination of attributes for a minimalist film. The fact that it never moves out of the car reflects the theme of containment or oppression to women, but interestingly, inside the car the characters feel a fair amount of psychological freedom. The camera lends itself to the characters. It is stationary, like an audience member's seat in a theater. [...]
[...] This gives the sense that the camera is not there, and that we are watching “life observed.” The naturalistic acting and the digital video format also add to the sense that Ten is a documentary Reality and Fiction: The documentary (or more like reality television) style helps reality blur the facts of fiction. There are many instances in the movie where it feels as if the real-life setting seeps into the fictive narrative, and it makes you wonder, Kiarostami plan that? [...]
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