Archive for April 1st, 2009

jennybee_screenshot_051The words ‘haven’t the foggiest’ come to mind.


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by Sam Juliano

Near the conclusion of Rahmin Bahrani’s Goodbye Solo, the film’s two protagonists gaze at each other with a sense of resignation and mutual understanding, but it’s a look that reveals far more than agreement.  It’s the culmination of a study in diversity, where opposites are brought together by unusual circumstances, and the world order is challenged by benevolent forces. 

     The third film by an Iranian-American filmmaker, who uses naturalistic settings to tell stories of the struggle to make it in the throws of economic impoverishment (Man Push Cart is a poignant study of a Pakistani man trying to make it in NYC, while last year’s even better Chop Shop is a portrait of young kids trying to survive in an overly hostile environment.) the new film moves from urban centers to Winston-Salem, North Carolina to craft a stylistically and linguistically minimalist tale.  With obvious similarities to both The Visitor and In America, two films showcasing magnanimous immigrants, Goodbye Solo owes much of the forward movement of it’s plot and themes to a 90’s masterpiece by Abbas Kiarostami, titled Taste of Cherry, where a cab driver tries to show a despondent passenger that there is so much beauty in the world to live for.  And it’s quietly moving climax recalls the final scene in Sergei Bodrov’s Prisoners of the Mountain, and Sidney Lumet’s classic The Pawnbroker, which both show the good in humanity, to the astonishment of its recipients. (more…)

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