Writer, Director, Animator, Editor: Ghazal Majidi
Music: Rojin Sharafi
Production Year: 2020
Vienna Shorts 2021
Brussles Independent Film Festival 2021
Mosaic Film Festival 2020
Fest Anca 2021
“Seer & Seen” is a somewhat private reference to the very first film I and Rojin Sharafi made together; not conformed by any object or character with a perceived narrative or symbolic merit, but one that surfaced as an arbitrary fragment of our imagination. It goes back to our high school years, as two 16-year-olds, wherein we borrowed a handy cam and made an experimental short film for a school competition, one following the camouflaged strings of an abstract portrayal. There we first experimented with the concept of a plastic duck as an object with stereotypical physical appearance yet fresh metaphorical layers. Ones of ridicule, playfulness, and mystery. That experience was a mere experiment - an improvise with objects and images - curious and clumsy in both technique and narrative, yet driven by an intuitive passion to tell a story.
We scraped three entire neighborhoods looking for a plastic duck. The more toy stores we visited, the more of a distant and exotic object it became. By the end of the day, a banal and stereotypical object of a child’s plaything was slowly transformed into a mysterious and dominant force; pushing us up and down the streets on a self distinguished mission. Amongst all the many memories I recall from my teenage years, this one, with the strenuous rain and the tedious running and the smirking strangers stuck in the gridlock, has been contained into a fertile capsule of “blurry melancholia” and activated through the propagation of time; vague, compressed, powerful. I guess for two curious 16-year-olds, this initial encounter with the ever-growing ties with one’s creation, appeared and remained more peculiar. This sense of ambiguity was what we aimed to incorporate through the same subject, i.e. plastic duck, into Seer & Seen.
“Seer&Seen” exploits space as a canvas to the mystical forces that have joined armies with nature to take over an abandoned amusement park. A mass of plastic toys that reiterate an alternative being of themselves; revealing a dominant spirit as the ruling intelligence behind the curtain, an army for a queen. What will initially be perceived as a rather delusional projection on the surroundings; contradictory rhymes in sound and vision. Maybe an illusion, a weird dream, or a surreal echo scattered by an enigmatic object being touched.
Reflecting once again on my long-rooted obsession with parallel universes, I tried to alternate between absurdity and sanctity, not only as qualities relating to a host, but as the predominant ambiance in which the story is set. The co-existence of opposing concepts creates a momentum that, especially in experimental works, can be essential in keeping the audience engaged. And so, in the second half of the film, the ludicrous profile of the bathtub plastic duck emerges into a godly phantom ruling over awarded territory; one that employs many of the already established motifs as components of a superior world. The pink smokes that are being released from the earth and pass through the air like magical potions, for instance, appear to be exploited from the lake in the alternate reality that is controlled by the mighty queen. There is no narrator whose point of view we share, but an intermediary set of eyes working as a mere stance for our omniscient vision. Triggered by the tediousness of the first 2020 Corona lockdowns, “Seer and Seen” is an experimental film that curiously recollects and recreates a distant memory in dichotomous and concurrent worlds; Mystical, playful, and hazy.
From artist's statement