Zuza - The Wonderful Path Under
The green curtains gently swing away. We see the outline of the body. A woman, hidden between the silky cascade of the fabric.
Each project runs its own course, and takes on a unique shape as the voices of those who have contributed begin to define it.
In such a manner, The Wonderful Path Under was one of the most intimate collaborative works I have done.
The collaborative nature of the work was one of greatest strengths when pulling this together, building a platform that let us exercise our concepts and aesthetic values.
Everyone brought something unique to the table and the final piece is really a testament to the adventurous and unpredictable nature of the project.
I began in a loose and unspecified manner; meeting with the composer Danai Dim to discuss the initial concept, the initial brief simply sort to build the music and story together.
We were both fascinated by one another’s craft, and had been keen to work together for sometime. As such, we began shaping a horror infused journey into the deepest level of Plato’s “Underworld”.
Establishing the composition from the very beginning is one of the most crucial aspects; it ensures that I am heading in the right direction.
The feelings that we are arousing have to be timed with precision; each facial expression, each bodily movement play an irreducible part in the overall impact.
We went to great lengths in the storyboard to ensure that we were building the emotional scenery in just the right way.
Dim’s whispering of the original text in her native language disorientates the senses; this is where our initially powerful character is lured into an unexpected territory.
This was my first time working with our actor Yin, whose beautiful tattoo on her chest inspired the title of the project (the tattoo meaning ‘wonderful’) and the neon burning sequence.
As an audience, we typically search for familiarity in the scene; a set of objects through which we can filter assess the situation and objects presented to us.
In our film, the most instantly recognisable element that can establish a relationship for the viewer is the actor’s face.
Aware of her power, Yin initially delights us with a sensual and evocative performance, slowly giving way to a terror fueled anxiety, as the world becomes less familiar and predictable.
The girl stumbles weakly. The performance is over. Her spirit escapes leaving her defeated.
Watch the video here.
Zuza is a video director and editor, visual story teller and dancer. You can find more of their work at isntitabsurd.com