Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday September 16th

I'm going to resume my 'journal a day' practice for the next month.  Except it will be 'journal every other day.'

Last night watched Taste of Cherry by Iranian director A. Kiarastami.  A man drives around Iran in a car trying to find someone to help bury him after he commits suicide.  That’s the story.  It’s mostly all shot inside the man’s car.  The people he meets are all men, and seem to represent the spectrum of people in today’s Iran (well, some spectrum).  They are each deliberately noted as being from different places (Kurdistan, Afghanistan, Lorestan(?)) and work a variety of jobs that seem to represent roles in modern-day Iran—soldier, seminarist, guard.  The movie ends with the man taking sleeping pills and lying down in the grave, as he’s told us he would.  The ‘drama’ such as it is involves whether or not the man has taken enough sleeping pills to wake up or not (this is the role of the person who has to help him—either to wake him, in the morning, or bury him).

Movie was not what you’d called thrilling.  In an interview on the DVD, Kiarastami talked about how he personally disliked movies that compelled you to be thrilled.  Movies that grabbed hold of you and didn’t let you think.  He said he preferred movies that you thought about for days after seeing them—even if, during the viewing, you fell asleep.  Some of my favorite movies, he said, are ones I fell asleep watching.  He went on to talk about how nice it is to nap in a movie.  I think he was joking, a little.  But maybe not.  Anyway, the movie definitely had a soporific quality.  I’m not sure I agree that that’s a useful or worthwhile goal.  In fact I think it rather isn’t.

Also you never find out if the man wakes up or not.  The movie's last scene is of the director and other film people (crew, cast) gathered on a ridge working to get the sound down for some shot in the film.  Post modern flim flam, is how it felt to me.

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