Abbas KiarostamiIran / France120 minutes2016ColourB&WSilent
Consisting of two dozen shots, each lasting precisely four-and-a-half-minutes and most ending with a fade to black, 24 Frames opens with an animation of Brueghel's Hunters in the Snow and then reverts to Kiarostami's own photography, occasionally manipulated by crude CGI. Each frame offers some kind of astonishment: a thunderclap frightens a lion off servicing his sexually aroused queen; a seagull mourns its mate; two horses perform an amorous dance in the midst of a snowstorm; ducks cavort on a shore. (It's as if James Benning shot a season of The Amazing World of Animals.) The final frame of the film, and of Kiarostami's prodigious career, offers a surging affirmation of the transformative power of love, combining William Wyler and Andrew Lloyd Webber in an ultra-Romantic and immensely moving valediction.