Abbas KiarostamiIran / France74 minutes2003ColourNo Dialogue
Made for the Yasujiro Ozu centenary, this exquisite work (which is also known as Five Dedicated to Ozu) pays homage to the Japanese master, from whom Kiarostami learned the power of stillness and contemplation. A quintet of fixed shots filmed on the Caspian Sea, each lasting about 15 minutes, focuses on a series of waterscapes whose ordinariness eventually proves the opposite under the intent inspection of Kiarostami's transformative camera. Captured by this rapt, unyielding gaze, such non-events as a sea-tossed chunk of wood splitting into two or a conga line of ducks eventually accumulate something like drama, and even romantic grandeur. The final episode, in which the quivering reflection of a moon in water pocked by rain is accompanied by a bassline of thunder and a polyphony of nocturnal creatures, ends the film on a appropriately sublime note. "One of Abbas Kiarostami's most brilliant, most beautiful films" (Dennis Grunes).
Digital presentation courtesy of MK2.