Most people want to compare this movie to non-narrative visual art, and that's not what I saw. Really, it reminded me more of The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, another collection of short stories which feels meticulously plotted yet like an illusion that vanishes when you try to make literal meaning out of it. The two are the best evocation of the era when short story collections mattered to normal people and vice versa. There are almost no humans, but the movie is full of perfectly observed character moments that are orchestrated with thematic precision. This is the Winesburg, Ohio of avant garde filmmaking, and probably a better cinematic version of that book's accomplishments in micro-observation than the adaptation.
What happens in the moments before and after a photograph is taken? 24 Frames answers this question and unites the two artistic languages Kiarostami dedicated his life to. Melancholic and joyous, serious and mischievous, it's a refined meditation on the passage of time and on the fragility of existence - themes central to the cinema of this revered Iranian director.
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February 17, 2019 at 07:06 AM