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Written by: Abbas Kiarostami
Directed by: Abbas Kiarostami
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 74
Date: 12/01/2003
IMDB

Five Dedicated to Ozu (2003)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Beach Smarty

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Abbas Kiarostami and Yasujiro Ozu are two of my all time favorite directors, but after one viewing of Kiarostami's Five Dedicated to Ozu, I'm not sure what one has to do with the other. Ozu famously broke up his dramas with "pillow shots," or shots of things like clotheslines or trains that had nothing to do with the plot, but gave the viewer a break and illustrated how life goes on. Kiarostami's film consists of five single, stationary shots, taken on a beach, and ranging from a few minutes long to 28 minutes long (74 minutes total) -- far longer than Ozu's "pillow shots." The first shows a piece of wood being tossed around in the surf. The second shows several people walking by, and a group of men stop and discuss something. The third shows a group of dogs laying on the beach and occasionally moving around. The fourth shows a group of ducks parading in front of the camera, then turning and parading back. And the fifth -- taken over the course of several nights and edited together -- shows a reflection of the moonlight in the water, occasionally disturbed by leaping frogs, clouds, a rainstorm and finally the encroaching dawn. If one looks carefully enough, one can pick up little "stories" in the images, and there's a relaxing, meditative quality that also comes of Ozu's images.

DVD Details: A 50-minute making-of featurette also included on the disc is most helpful in coming to understand Kiarostami's thoughts; he even admits that he wouldn't mind if a viewer took a catnap in the middle of the film. The DVD, from Kino and Kimstim, also comes with a Kiarostami biography and filmography. There are lots of impressive credits at the beginning of the film, including filmmaker Jafar Panahi, but it's not clear what these people actually did on the film.

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