Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Image Maker

The Pacific Film Archive at Berkeley is having a film program on Abbas Kiorastami these days. Kiorastami is an Iranian director who apparently has a reputation for making great movies with very simple themes and experimenting with different new techniques.

I watched "Where is the friend's home?" yesterday which is definitely an illustration of at least the simple theme part (I do not know a lot about "techniques" to comment on the other). The movie is about a kid who wants to return his friend's notebook or else the friend is going to be expelled from class the next day - that's it! But the way he captures the child's thoughts, and the unconcerned reactions of the elders who do not understand the urgency of the situation, is a thing of beauty. Highly recommended if you can lay your hands on it.

The program has quite a few films, but I am really curious about "Ten" - a film which was shot virtually without the director. The subject was always on the front seat of a car with a camera on the dashboard - Kiorastami was not present but merely instructed the actors. Let's see...