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24 Frames (free)

  • Vilas Hall 821 University Avenue Madison, WI, 53706 United States (map)

Abbas Kiarostami's final film is a layered meditation on cinema and photography. Info

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Iranian auteur Abbas Kiarostami is unanimously regarded as a significant cinematic innovator of the 20th century, best represented by formative award-winning documentary-fiction hybrids like Close-up (1990). Before his unfortunate passing in 2016, Kiarostami began to shift his focus abroad with thematic takes on malleable identity with Certified Copy (2010) in Tuscany and Like Someone In Love (2012) in Tokyo, which confirm the universality of his artistic language. Kiarostami's final film, 24 Frames, presented here as a conclusion to the spring 2018 "Premiere Showcase" series at Cinematheque, is a reflective return to his roots and autobiographical interdisciplinary memoir that unites his career in film with his passion and professional proclivity for photography. Kiarostami transparently accomplishes this through digital animation, as he applies musical scores as well as subtle, deliberate movements and dynamic weather effects to transmute 23 of his own black-and-white still-life and landscape photographs into short films that comprise a kind of singular anthology. In addition to those, he introduces the film with Bruegel The Elder's most recognizable painting, "Hunters in the Snow" (a lingering, indelible image in Tarkovsky's Solaris, also recently a part of campus programming), thus augmenting this clever self-reference (23 photos + 1 painting) with the speed of film at 24 frames per second, establishing a layered meditation on the mediums simultaneously. While typical essay-films may be characterized by certain didacticism that accompanies voiceover, Kiarostami reaches for a more transcendental sensibility, perhaps akin to the aforementioned Tarkovsky. 24 Frames is at once an accessible entry point for the unfamiliar, and a nostalgically thoughtful coda to a true visionary. —Grant Phipps

Earlier Event: April 28
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Later Event: April 28
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