Wednesday, January 31, 2018
24 Frames (2017) A Film by Abbas Kiarostami
"The basis for the film, specified in an opening title card, is Kiarostami’s photography work. Looking over his stills archive, the filmmaker was apparently overcome with a desire to witness more than what his images could offer, and thus set about resurrecting, with some mixture of memory and projection, the 'scenes' leading up to and succeeding the click of the shutter—an undertaking that deflates Henri Cartier-Bresson’s famous idea of 'the decisive moment.' If one 'decides' on immortalizing a single instant with photography, Kiarostami seems to posit, then one has robbed a moment of its life and complexity, qualities that can only be revived through cinema. It’s no accident that whenever a death occurs in 24 Frames, the vignette comes to an end; movement and progress are the organizing principles here."
My full review of Kiarostami's final, posthumously released film is live on Slant now. I anticipate this being at or near the top of my 2018 year-end list.