By Geoff Andrews
Iranian Abbas Kiarostami burst onto the overseas movie scene within the early Nineties and--as validated by way of the numerous significant prizes he has won--is now extensively considered as the most precise and gifted modern day administrators. In 2002, with 10, Kiarostami broke new floor, solving one or electronic cameras on a car's dashboard to movie ten conversations among the driving force (Mania Akbari) and her a variety of passengers. the implications are amazing: notwithstanding officially rigorous, even austere, and documentary-like in its sort, 10 succeeds either as emotionally affecting human drama and as a serious research of daily life in today's Tehran.
In this learn, Geoff Andrew appears to be like at 10 in the context of Kiarostami's profession, of Iranian cinema's fresh renaissance, and of foreign movie tradition. Drawing on a couple of exact interviews he carried out with either Kiarostami and his lead actress, Andrew sheds mild at the strange equipment utilized in making the movie, on its political relevance, and on its remarkably sophisticated aesthetic.
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Extra resources for 10 (BFI Modern Classics)
This is the most conspicuous example of the very few occasions in the film when a hand of the person not being shown by the camera at that moment slips into the frame. 53 ) In conventional dramaturgical terms, this is an unusually quiet moment for an emotional climax, but it is perhaps characteristic of Kiarostami in that it involves a kind of epiphany. It is also significant that it comes in the penultimate chapter of the film, rather than at the very end, in that it allows the very short final chapter to provide one of the director's customarily ambiguous or 'open' endings.
Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa has written of the use of ruined buildings in both Persian poetry and Iranian cinema as a metaphor for despair,36 but Kiarostami turns this on its head. This may be a documentary, but even in the most desperate circumstances he still finds room for hope. The scene immediately preceding this is the film's philosophical core, and reveals how close this documentary is to Kiarostami's fiction. He and Sarnadian are at their hotel, after their visit to the hospital; the scene opens on mosquitoes buzzing around a lamp, and we hear the men - off· screen, as often - wondering if they carry malaria, which prompts Kiarostami to observe that to die from an insect bite would be the ultimate betrayal; at least with AIDS, somebody somewhere along the line has made some kind of choice.
That is partly a matter of having non-professional actors 'play' themselves - characters and dialogue are closely derived from reality. But it is also a matter of how the film was shot and edited. 69 Then there is the fact that Kiarostami often leaves in the film what other film-makers might remove. For example, at the start of chapter (9) - which in toto lasts around twelve minutes - two minutes pass before there's any dialogue at all, during which time we see a woman (we have no idea yet who she is; only with Mania's return to the car will we find out she's her sister) distractedly picking at a facial spot and fanning herself as she watches the world outside the car - a world, incidentally, which we cannot see for ourselves, since the light is so bright everything beyond the window is bleached white.