Nima Nourizadeh of SMUGGLER has directed new film, ‘Outside In’ - a voyeuristic observation into people’s lives from afar. Scored by Alexis Taylor and Joe Goddard (Hot Chip), and Omid Nourizadeh (16B), Nima’s film is an intimate collection of moments intertwined, captured around Los Angeles after dark.
The meditative short gives viewers space to impose their own narratives onto the characters and their lives. Nima uses windows as the literal frame, guiding the audience’s attention, while making brilliant use of the 'off-screen', rewarding the imaginative and participatory viewers; who are these characters? Where are they from? What are their relationships? It’s a piece that grows with each viewing, something more to be learned or gleaned from each experience.
Inspired by Michael Snow’s 'Wavelength' and Coppola’s 'The Conversation', the film also pays tribute to depictions of LA at night in countless films. The long lens photography creates a visual language reminiscent of 'The Long Goodbye', and a tone that pays homage to the opening sequences in De Palma films. However, Nima cleverly subverts expectations by not leaning into genre conventions, making a more considered and attentive, piece of observational film. The brilliant score adds another layer to the storytelling punctuated by the zooming sound of the telephoto lens, an instrument unto itself.
'Outside In' is a companion piece to 'Our Friends Through Windows'; an art project and photography book Nima created as cities around the world instated 'safer at home policies'. The film compliments the book and functions as a time capsule of emotions we all experienced in the spring of 2020 but more importantly serves as a timeless celebration of connectedness and community.