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Closer (2000)

Courtesy of Tina Gharavi

Main image of Closer (2000)
35mm, colour, 24 mins
DirectorTina Gharavi
Production CompanyBridge + Tunnel
ProducerTina Gharavi
PhotographyToshiaki Ozawa
MusicNicola Lumley
 John T.

Cast: Annelise Roger (herself); Nina Hajiyianni; Gulli Rodger

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A brief glimpse into the life of a young lesbian from Newcastle.

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Closer (2000) was the brainchild of Tina Gharavi, a former lecturer in Media Production & Multimedia in the North of England. Her personal work has included films, installations and fine art, making her fiendishly difficult to categorise.

While in artistic residence at Le Fresnoy, a contemporary arts studio in France, Gharavi found herself with funds for a production, but without a project to produce. This gave her complete freedom to create a project from scratch, on a subject that truly fascinated her. The subject she chose was Annalise Rodgers, a young woman she had seen dancing in a club. Gharavi was captivated by Annalise's 'luminosity'.

A year later, in France, Gharavi realised this was a perfect opportunity to experiment with the medium of film to explore this fascinating individual. She jumped in her car and made the 12 hour journey back to Newcastle to hunt down the mysterious dancer. She had no idea how Annalise would feel about being filmed, but Gharavi's instinct proved reliable and Annalise was more than willing to become involved. This active involvement was essential as the documentary was made without a storyboard or script, the scenes driven by locations, concepts and ideas.

The muted use of colour and unusual visuals are due to collaboration with cinematographer Toshiaki Ozawa, who had worked with British filmmaker Isaac Julien and other artists on similarly unusual projects. Ozawa had also worked on Buffalo 66 (US/Canada, d. Vincent Gallo, 1998), which had been a particular influence on Gharavi's vision for Closer.

Tina Gharavi's personal work often deals with questions of identity, and this piece can be seen as more than simply a regional story, but as a broader investigation of sexual identity.

Rachel Wilson-Dickson

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Video Clips
Complete film (22:37)