The Traveller | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

This first feature by Iranian master Abbas Kiarostami launches an indispensable, if less than complete, retrospective for one of the world's greatest living filmmakers. Made in 1974, the film tells the story of a village boy who's determined to attend a soccer match in Tehran, a venture that involves swiping or scamming money from various sources and in effect running away from home. The comparison that many have made between this touchingly nonjudgmental and often comic short feature and The 400 Blows isn't far off, and Kiarostami's warm, poetic feeling for children and his flair for both storytelling and documentarylike detail are already fully in place. On the same program are two of Kiarostami's conceptual short films (many of which recall Jane Campion's experimental Passionless Moments in both essayistic content and formal brio), made respectively in 1975 and 1981. I've seen So I Can (an obtuse inversion of the original title that translates simply "so can I"), which deftly mixes animation and live action, and look forward to seeing Regularly or Irregularly, which reportedly treats schoolroom behavior in a highly formal manner. Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson, Saturday, June 1, 6:00, and Sunday, June 2, 2:00, 443-3737. --Jonathan Rosenbaum

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