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"Dazzling! The bold, almost psychedelically vivid images are woven together with a dreamlike density as pure as that of The Blood of a Poet or Natural Born Killers." Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
One of the most critically acclaimed films of the year, Gabbeh is an epic tale of the forbidden passion that shapes the legend of a magical carpet.
A folkloric carpet (Gabbeh), picturing a man and a woman riding away on horseback, is the prized possession of a nomadic elderly couple. When they sit to wash it on the bank of a creek, a beautiful young woman suddenly emerges from the carpet to join them. Once held hostage by the endless restraints of the family that fashioned the carpet, she reveals the secret of the carpet lies within the mysterious black-clad rider on the white horse. Month after month, season after season, he had followed her family from afar, always present, always waiting, howling to her songs of love longing for her to run away with him.
Director Mohsen Makhmalbaf's masterpiece is a brilliantly colorful, profoundly romantic ode to beauty, nature, love and art.
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Although considered a classic of Iranian cinema, GABBEH fell flat for me. I found it heavy-handed, obvious, and absurd. I don't think they had much of a story, much of a budget, and -- worst of all -- many insights about the human condition.
Perhaps part of the problem is that a lot of the movie's eloquence is predicated on the use of Farsi during certain scenes.
I'm not sure I agree with that, but in any case that ain't gonna help you if you're reading the subtitles.
I watched this twice -- carefully -- because of its reputation, but I am forced to conclude that the thing is pretentious and disorganized. The filmmakers were certainly on to something that the public would be interested in watching: the story of a forbidden love among a nomadic tribe. Fine.
But the film was confusing from beginning to end. Even after two viewings, I'm still uncertain who the old woman and man were supposed to be? Old versions of the young lady? Was the young lady a phantom, a dream, or a memory? An alternative life that could have been?
I'm sure the filmmakers would be happy to suggest that "She could be all of those things! That's for the viewer to decide!"
Bollocks. You can't simply make a disorganized film and then grandly assert that whatever meaning people strive to see in it is as valid as anything you could have come up with. It's a kind of cheating, as an artist.
Leastways, the whole thing would have been much mroe successfuly without shoehorning all that bosh about color into it. That added little.
The gal's pretty hot, though.
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