Nothing, not even the magic of film, can make false feelings true. A romantic romp that gets a lot of comedic mileage out of the repetitious dialogue, the elder Kiarostami finding the humor in the same techniques his younger self had employed to cultivate mysteries. My favorite moment has to be when the Ahmadpour brothers silently watch the production of the fiction film on the subject of trying to locate them.
The final film in the Abbas trilogy, and while ultimately my least favorite it is still really solid filmmaking. The simple originality of this trilogy is evident, and what is clear here is that Abbas inspires himself and that is pivotal for an auteur. The story mainly focuses on one particular scene from the previous film and its surrounding and backstory.
Marvellous piece of filmmaking: Film within a film but this is the least of this masterpiece's many merits, most of which pertain to the incredible sense of aural signifiers inserted into the Kiarostami 'ladder' that leads from the debris of earthquake, the elision of the filmmaking process, the summons of love, and the philosophical manifesto of 'coincidentia oppositorum' on the pickup truck to transcendence itself!
Who inspires, more than Kiarostami, the idea of cinema as living entity in conversation with us and itself? I think what compels cinephiles, especially here, is the importance placed on things beyond the frame - the factors creating cinema beyond the auteur. The thesis of this trilogy. Wrapping my head around the interplay of reality and film in Koker was like endless nesting dolls. The use of side mirror, my god.
35mm, rewatched. How many layers fit in this movie? How many simultaneities of representation? The world as form and representation, form of representation and vice versa? In the extraordinary final frame, its duration is both its visibility and its perceptual difficulty-how many levels to look at in this image? What filmmaker gives us so much imagery (and sound) breeding now, and so naturally?
A curious work that suggests, in a myriad of little ways, that life cannot conform to art--from the recalcitrant actors who for various reasons cannot say their lines, to the oddly substanceless and asymmetrical off-camera relationship between the on-camera couple, to that last shot that resolutely keeps the viewer (and director) at bay. We are reminded of the limits of representation, and the opacity of others.