There have been great filmmakers in the history of cinema: John Ford, Mikio Naruse, D.W. Griffith, Josef von Sternberg, Kenji Mizoguchi, Yasujiro Ozu, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Nicholas Ray, Andrei Tarkovsky, Robert Bresson, Jacques Demy, John Carpenter, Edward Yang, Carl Th. Dreyer, Howard Hawks, Luchino Visconti, Satyajit Ray, King Hu, John Cassavetes, Victor Sjöström, etc. Abbas Kiarostami, however, is not one of them.
It shows how annoying suicidal people can be. It's not their fault. They have tunnel-vision that makes them incredibly self-centered. Even when he's asking questions of the other people, it's to get them to help him out. Most people don't ask for help in the actual suicide. One of the ways to get out of a suicidal depression is to start to really consider other human beings and their struggles, and be helpful.
kiarostami achieves the impossible "putting viewer in the character's shoes" by the means of something more tangible: putting us in a car with him. And to watch birds take flight attentively through the eyes of the protagonist whose set on killing himself, to watch life on the outskirts of Tehran for one last time. Every shot becomes significant. In a film about suicide we experience what it is to be alive.
This film washes over you like a wave. Beautiful. I'm blown away by Kiarostami's philosophical style and refusal to adhere to any norms. A Palme d'Or winner, this really struck me as a "Cannes"-type film. Slow and melancholy. A bit of a slow burner. Roger Ebert hated-hated-hated it, said it was a huge bore. He was wrong. It happens.
An intimate film that reflects on life and death in a very poetic manner. Kiarostami's humanity feels very tangible in every single frame of this movie; images that won't ever leave my memory: the birds flying in the sky, the sunset, the chemtrails, the kids playing, etc.
I appreciate how much Kiarostami expects from the viewer. Yet, it wasn't until reading: http://sensesofcinema.com/2001/abbas-kiarostami-17/cherry/ that I fully appreciated this film. Maybe I would've unearthed its hidden gems on my own if I hadn't read this right after watching it, but the film is so subtle, if not secretive, about its true genius and anyway great regardless, so I don't think I would've bothered.
"I've decided to free myself from this life... What for? It wouldn't help you to know and I can't talk about it. If I told you, you wouldn't understand. It's not because you don't understand but you can't feel what I feel. You can sympathize, understand, show compassion. But feel my pain? No. You suffer and so do I. I understand you, you comprehend my pain but you can't feel it."
What are the motives of Mr. Badii? What would my motives be? After all it is a movie, look, he's passing a cigarette to the director. And what about life, it is greater than movies after all - and is it worth it? so it got me thinking, amongst other things space won't allow for