Irreverent city engineer Behzad comes to a rural village in Iran to keep vigil for a dying relative. In the meanwhile the film follows his efforts to fit in with the local community and how he changes his own attitudes as a result.
Roushan Karam Elmi
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Mohamad Ali Keshavarz,
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It's been months since Jafar Panahi, stuck in jail, has been awaiting a verdict by the appeals court. By depicting a day in his life, Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb try to portray the deprivations looming in contemporary Iranian cinema.
James Miller has just written a book on the value of a copy versus the original work of art. At a book reading, a woman gives him her address, and the next day they meet and take a country-side drive to a local Italian village. Here, they discuss various works of art found in the town, and also the nature of their relationship - which gets both more revealed and concealed as the day progresses. Written by
If you're familiar with the movies of Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami, this is a big departure from his usual work. Shot in Italy with Juliette Binoche and some dude, it's basically a romantic comedy, but nothing like Hollywood would ever produce (well, it actually reminds a little bit of Before Sunset by Richard Linklater, but miles away from the Julia Roberts/Sandra Bullock avenue).
It's really enjoyable with unexpected progress of the story (unexpected especially if you're brainwashed by certain type of movies about male-female relationships). It has room for interpretation, everything is not explained and it lets the viewer bind the remaining threads. It's also funny and I found it quite intense. It held my attention and actually felt about ten minutes shorter than it really is. I have to admit that I'm a big fan of intelligent movies about male-female relationships. Long well written and acted scenes with just a man and a woman talking don't turn me off.
The formal control of the shots by the director and the cinematographer are masterful. There are those long shots that Kiarostami has used before, but used masterfully in the context of the story, and not in any "look at me, Mom, I'm sculpting in time" -art house tedium.
I talked with couple other persons who saw the movie, and they said that they didn't like it. But let me tell you that it's really good.
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