Five (For Ozu) | Chicago Reader

Five (For Ozu)

Abbas Kiarostami’s 2003 collection of nonnarrative sequences pales in comparison to his subsequent experimental feature 24 Frames (2017), but it’s clearly the work of a master, a hypnotic contemplation of animals, weather, and time’s passing. The movie appears to be a series of unmediated takes, but this is illusory; in fact Kiarostami directed the onscreen action as intensively as he did that of any of his narrative works. A scene in the making-of documentary Around Five shows the filmmaker carefully herding ducks for the majestic (and subtly funny) fourth sequence, in which a seemingly endless train of animals passes before the camera as if on parade. Likewise the haunting final sequence, which meditates on moonlight and rain hitting a pond at night, is a composite of multiple shots, the director having selected the most dynamic moments to convey a world in constant flux. The film’s soundtrack is characteristically rich throughout, making this a veritable feast for the senses.

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