Saturday, August 18, 2007

More Kiarostami at PFA

On Saturday, August 4th I was back at the PFA for a program of the 2nd & 3rd parts of the Kiarostami trilogy that started with Where is the Friend's Home? In And Life Goes On Kiarostami travels laboriously by car back to the village settings of Where is the Friend's Home? But now this area has been devastated by a real-life earthquake. The movie is a both a documentary & a fictionalized version of this trip. The deceptively simple story is full of small, meaningful gestures that reveal much about human nature, determination & how art manipulates reality.

The final film, Through the Olive Trees, seems to be a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the previous film, adding another layer of meta-fiction to the trilogy. It too is full of small but telling observations of human behavior. Both these films end with a culminating long take in long shot in which characters are reduced to abstract points of motion within a much larger natural landscape. In these last moments, the movies transcend the narrative, & we get an almost god-like perspective on acts of human striving. These have got to be classic film endings. I'm still wondering why I didn't know about Kiarostami years ago.

No comments: