Archive for May 3rd, 2017


 © 2017 by James Clark

       You might be tempted, by its glowing foothills landscape caressed by blue-chip film stock (Kiarostami’s farewell to 35 mm ancient film—henceforth to be a video guy) and patently dull city slickers impinging upon the self-evident graces of rural ways, to assume that our helmsman has, with his 1999 outing, The Wind Will Carry Us, relented from the rigorous nuances of a triumph, like Close-Up (1990). But that would be a loss of faith that the mutual exchange of sophisticated treasure between him and Jim Jarmusch does not exist.

Evidence that such a nexus does exist is in fact abundant in our puzzling film today. Behzad, a filmmaker being part of a team of “reality TV” journalists biding their time in an Iranian mountain village until they go live to cover the death of a slowly declining 100-year-old woman and the region’s eccentric funeral rites, has no taste for the various domestic and wild animals to be encountered, especially while frantically driving to hilltops whereby to discuss, with optimal phone reception, the wasted time with the producer back in Tehran. (That latter motif could be called Dead Woman; and the unforthcomingness all round could be called Shades of Jarmusch. The volatility of that phenomenon of dead while alive speaks to the hard work Jarmusch and Kiarostami share.) It was one thing to be bored by the various media underlings in the entertainment food chain. It was, however, serious ca-ca to, one day at the, frustrating enough, reporting heights, overturn a large tortoise and leave him struggling. Therewith, the kind of logical retributional earthquake, leaving offenders instantly Dead Men in the eyes of Jarmusch, applies heat in such a way as to suggest to the wary that extreme tests, at Close-Up levels, are at center-stage. (Behzad, in American-dude-jeans and untucked shirt, struts in dead man mode amongst his regular few contacts and irregular many presumed primitives with Alpha staging, recalling very well, Willie, the show-off Hungarian immigrant to Lower Manhattan, in Stranger than Paradise and also, Jack, the pimp, in Down by Law (both roles played by deadpan hipster musician, John Lurie). (That attitude being covered by the Jarmusch keyword, “jerking off.”) (more…)

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