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This film is an instance where the truism that less is more really fits. There are two camera angles in this film: medium shot of the driver and medium shot of the passenger. As Kiarostami explains in his very worthwhile set of lessons on filmmaking "Ten on Ten" (included on this disc), this camera angle is both extremely simple and very versatile. It is perfect for enabling a character to engage in dialogue that is not artificial -- because it is natural for a character to speak facing forward when he or she is in the car, and because effectively it sets the viewer in the other seat. It also allows the viewers to focus on the main characters of the film, and allows the director to create a scenario for these characters, while at the same time allowing for the unpredictable and unplanned to take place in the background, outside of the window.
While the characters in the film are not actors, they perform their roles extremely well. As Kiarostami explains (drawing upon, I think, an idea first put forward by Bazin) anybody is capable of playing perfectly a single role for film: the part of themselves. The director enters the picture by setting up conditions under which the characters are free to play this role, without it seeming artificial, at the same time as they fulfil a larger objective demanded by the film as a whole.Read more ›
Nevertheless the spontaneity has inherent limits. The director is not there, but he chooses each new personage and before each sequence he gives general instructions about what is to be discussed. The flow of discussion is subtly controlled by the woman who is driving (who is the only professional interpret, Mania Akbari; in real life she is working in the movie industry, and like the personage in the movie she is divorced; her child plays his own role).
Anyway, each sequence is no more a scene miming reality: it is pure reality. It happens in this movie what happened in the contemporary art: like Warhol and Rauschenberg and all the others who renounced of creating images to represent reality, taking real objects instead, to create art, here in Ten, Kiarostami was able to get this great mirage: he took reality from the street and transformed it into art.
The scenes with the little boy are so amazing and precious. If the boy is acting he should get nominated for a prize. He is so good that I have to assume he wasn't acting and that was his real self.
Highly recommend the movie.
At the end of the day , however , she never looses sight of her inherent existentialistic threads and metaphorically sighs relief each time a passenger leaves the vehicle . Beware , though , this film is sure to leave you hungry for more Abbas Kiarostami ...
But the question remains: was this film a premeditated thought or was it improvision at its best ?
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