Shirin | Chicago Reader

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92 minutes

Avant-Garde, Experimental
One of Abbas Kiarostami's trickiest and most radical experimental works, this fascinating 2008 feature focuses on women spectators of a movie that we hear but don't see—a lush and seemingly action-packed drama adapted from a famous Persian medieval poem by Nazami Ganjavi, "Khosrow and Shirin." Typical of Kiarostami's mastery as an illusionist is that he created the offscreen soundtrack himself, but only after he'd shot close-ups of Juliette Binoche and 112 Iranian film actresses watching the fictional film. (The makeshift audience contains some males too, but they're never featured.) It's as if Kiarostami had capitulated to the requests of his friendly critics that he make a movie with stars and an easy-to-follow story, then perversely turned the movie into a nonnarrative film. In Farsi with subtitles.


See our full review: Kiarostami Returns

Kiarostami Returns

Jonathan Rosenbaum and Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa discuss the Iranian master's first film to screen in Chicago since 2002. »

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  • Kiarostami Returns

    Kiarostami Returns

    Jonathan Rosenbaum and Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa discuss the Iranian master's first film to screen in Chicago since 2002.
    • Oct 22, 2009

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