“Al motociclista no le cabe la felicidad en el traje” seen through the eyes of Azin Feizabadi, member of the preselection team of Berlinale Shorts.
The intentionally repeated element associated with the Lead Role in “Motorcyclist’s Happiness Won’t Fit Into His Suit” is his unwillingness to let anyone ride his motorbike. The Leitmotif is presented in the dialogue between the Lead Role and the Supporting Roles, as well as the Extras – all of whom have been directed to act like Non-Actors (not to be confused with Miscast, Non-Traditional Casting or Cast Against Type).
A Typecast young protagonist who embodies Hernan Callejas from the first exploration brigade in Mexico.
“Rebel Without a Cause”
Bad Boy reputation
Embodiment of Cool
A group of girls and boys playing the brigade that accompanies Callejas, “… moving through the brush weeds, cutting plants and scaring Indians”.
The recurrent thematic element in “Motorcyclist’s Happiness Won’t Fit Into His Suit” is the (H)Onda motorbike – a tool to talk about the conflict and the power dynamic between the Lead Role and the Supporting Roles.
“Motorcyclist’s Happiness Won’t Fit Into His Suit” is not a Comedy. However, by exaggerating characteristics from genre cinema, from the colonial history of South America and from Jean Luc Godard’s “Contempt”, it makes fun of its sources in an absurd way.
The location of “Motorcyclist’s Happiness Won’t Fit Into His Suit” is defined mainly by a tent which has been pitched on a natural site, in a valley in the mountains. The characters are choreographed inside and outside the tent, although the camera remains inside for most of the time – Onstage. Having used the Pan and Scan format, the camera sometimes pans (in a 90 degree Panorama Shot) to look at the events taking place outside the tent (no Dolly or Tracking Shots are used in this film).
Blood red is the main colour in “Motorcyclist’s Happiness Won’t Fit Into His Suit”. It appears repeatedly in the Computer Generated Imagery and physically in the scene courtesy of the Stage Design element of the tent. The red tent fabric takes on the role of a filter, letting the natural sunlight shine on the scene in a full, bloody red light (which can also be defined as High-Key Lighting or Motivated Lighting).
Character Introduction Lighting
Key scenes and key characters are introduced in “Motorcyclist’s Happiness Won’t Fit Into His Suit” by do-it-yourself Spot-Lighting techniques. Whoop-whoop sound effects (bells, horns and whistles) and the Sound Track support the dramatic intention of this lighting method.
Most of the Sound in “Motorcyclist’s Happiness Won’t Fit Into His Suit” can be understood from the context of the image. Although sometimes surreal, its sources can be identified in the image’s frame. Nevertheless, the Sound of the film has gone through an extensive Design process during Post Production – a reminder of how Silent Films sounded when Analogue Sound Recording had not yet been invented.
A recorded Narration comes from an Off-Screen voice which apparently does not belong to any of the characters seen in the film. By providing a commentary to the action occurring in the scenes, this Narrator (who is perhaps the Director) translates the film back to its own historical and political urgency.
Picture within Picture
“Motorcyclist’s Happiness Won’t Fit Into His Suit” is a Revisionistic short movie. It initially presents an apparent genre stereotype but soon subverts, challenges and deconstructs it. We could think of the film as a Shaggy Dog Tale. But the Silver Bullet near the end of the film – the solution that solves the complicated dramatic problem – wraps up the story and its form into one unified entity.
* Technical movie making terms and their descriptions have been taken from the Film Term Glossary website at https://www.filmsite.org/filmterms1.html
Azin Feizabadi is an Iranian born Berlin based filmmaker and visual artist. He is a member of the selection committee of Berlinale Shorts since 2020 and the short film section of the Kasseler Dokfest since 2018.