Abbas Kiarostami (France/Iran/Japan, 2004)
Kiarostami's most recent film famously abandons all precepts of conventional storytelling, discovering in their place the narrative rhythms hidden within the natural world. Dedicated to Yasujiro Ozu, Five structurally refers to the static-camera experiments of Andy Warhol, and to the more current, remarkable landscape works of James Benning. The film is composed of five long shots, most taken along the waters of the Caspian Sea, each "starring" such actors as tides and driftwood, a gang of ducks, croaking frogs, or the reflection of the moon. Those wondering "where the action is" need only truly open their eyes to discover a different kind of cinema, and a different kind of seeing. Meditative or materialist, even metaphorical if you want it to be, Five provides a slate upon which to project any thought or emotion; it's "both a lesson in cinema, and a lesson in being" (James Quandt).
Five is repeated on Tuesday, August 28.
• Written, Photographed by Kiarostami. (74 mins, No dialogue, Color, Beta SP, From MK2)