Friday, January 13, 2012

Taste of Cherry

End of an exhausting day/week, so Liz and I slumped in front of the box for movie night. We watched Abbas Kiarostami's Taste of Cherry from 1997 which I've had on DVD for some time but never got around to watching. Why couldn't we watch Die Hard or something like normal people?

Anyway, we liked it. To say that it was minimal would be an understatement. A man is intent on committing suicide (we don't know why). He has the pills and has dug a hole in the arid hills on the outskirts of Tehran. He drives around in his Range Rover, looking for someone to cover him with earth at dawn after the deed is done. The first two decline, the third reluctanty agrees. The film ends with him in his hole, staring up at the night sky.... before suddenly cutting to prosaic camcorder footage of the actor, director & film crew doing their stuff in the same location.

So, did he do it? I like the fact that we don't know. If it was revealed that he did, then it would have been a miserable ending and what would have been the film's point? If he didn't then it would have been too Hollywood, too trite an ending. So it was left for the viewer to decide. The fact that Liz and I talked about it for an hour afterwards and that I am writing about it now is enough in my books to say that it was a thought-provoking and worthwhile work. And so did the critics: it won the Palm d'Or at Cannes.     

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