that I’d walk out of an Abbas Kiarostami movie. But there it was…
Kiarostami shorts program
screened Sunday, March
Dandan Dard / Toothache (1983) IMDb
yes – this one has a great narrative flow for the first half – comically attributing a boy’s poor dental hygiene to generations of neglect using archival footage.Â The second half doesn’t live up as well, but it’s great to see a new shade of Kiarostamian humor.
Be Tartib ya Bedoun-e Tartib / Regulary or Irregularly (1981) IMDb
yes – Five different scenarios (school recess, the queue for the water fountain, bus boarding, cars entering a tunnel, and an intersection) are shown in orderly and disorderly mode.Â This is reportedly one of Jonathan Rosenbaum’s two or three favorite Kiarostami films.Â It has a great Tati-esque quality to it (which may be why Rosenbaum loves it) in its master shot approach to depicting the comical dysfunctions of mass human behavior.Â I think it works mostly as a concept – it just didn’t take off into another level for me.
Hamsarayan / The Chorus (1982) IMDb
YES – Now here’s what I like — exploring the conceptual/technical properities of cinema in a way that is integral to the story being told.Â An old man who’s hard of hearing decides to remove his hearing aid when there’s too much noise outside his apartment — but this prevents him from hearing his grandkids when they call out for him to let them in.Â Kiarostami does a great job setting up the old man as a sympathetic victim before reversing the roles by inserting characters more helpless than him.Â It’s a sweet little movie with a subtly underlaid metaphysical dimension, shot uncharacteristically in soft focus.
Hamshahri / Fellow Citizen (1983) IMDb
as Mike D’Angelo would say, W/O – abrasively noisy documentary about a traffic officer trying to turn motorists away from a congested area.Â It just didn’t go anywhere, basically the same haggling for close to an hour.Â Perhaps if you understand Farsi you can get more of the nuances to each interaction…