PRINT September 2017



Abbas Kiarostami, 24 Frames, 2016, digital video, color, sound, 114 minutes.

THE TITLE of Abbas Kiarostami’s posthumous film, 24 Frames (2016), both announces the nature of the work—consisting of two dozen shots, all but one statically filmed with a fixed camera—and deviously invokes Jean-Luc Godard’s famous pronouncement, “Cinema is truth at twenty-four frames a second.” Godard’s formulation, like so much imagery that will soon prove obsolete in relation to movies, referred to celluloid; Kiarostami in fact abandoned that medium long ago for digital filmmaking, in which separate frames do not actually exist. Never mind that the increasingly postmodernist Kiarostami seemed to assert in his final feature, with its many manipulations of the image, that any faith in filmic “truth” may be misplaced.

The film’s formalist structure looks back to Kiaro-stami’s tribute to Yasujiro Ozu, Five (2003), a quintet of locked long takes filmed on the Caspian Sea;

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