This is the second film in the “Koker trilogy” (which is what the name of the Criterion box set is, even if Kiarostami was (apparently) luke-warm to grouping these films that way). And I watched the third film a couple months ago, because, er, I was befuddled.
This is like Kiarostami’s favourite shot — a man in a car, driving along some road in Iran. I guess there’s logistical reasons for that, too… I mean, the authorities in Iran are kinda “eehhh?” on Kiarostami’s films, so a car is a nice self-contained unit.
The story behind this is apparently that Kiarostami was worried about what happened to the two boys who starred in Where Is the Friend’s House? after a huge earthquake in the area. So he went looking for them. And this is a fictional account of that?
It’s kinda fantastic so far — so focused.
This is so meta. These three films are the kinds of films that’ll keep film clubs atwittering for centuries!
Yes, that’s the scene from the third movie — they keep rehearsing and rehearsing the scene in that movie, but this is the “original”?
I think this is the best movie of the trilogy? But if you haven’t seen the other two movies, then there’s a lot of stuff that wouldn’t… quite have the resonance it has here. So I wonder how seeing the third film after seeing this one would have been? Perhaps it would have been awesome?
Instead this is the awesome movie, because I watched it last.
And the box set is rather clever.
The cover has these die cuts…
And the die cuts continue inside.
So it’s like everything is nested inside.
I’m watching the documentary now… and it explains a lot about how his non-professional actors aren’t… very natural. I mean, I watch a lot of stuff with non-professional actors (Varda, Bresson, etc) and they get amazing performances out of them. With Kiarostami, they’re totally unnatural and kinda smirking at the camera, and he’s saying that when he wants a sad scene out of somebody, he makes them sad the night before. To get the boy crying in Where Is the Friend’s House?, he tore up a polaroid he was fond of in front of his eyes. Etc. He’s… he was kind of a monster? And the result was totally unconvincing performances.
dزندگی و دیگر هی. Abbas Kiarostami. 1992. ⚅