A gabbeh is a type of woven rug, and the one in question is a gabbeh owned by an old couple (never named) who treasure it as an heirloom. This gabbeh features a picture of a man and woman riding on a horse, and when the couple goes to wash the rug (which is accomplished by tossing it into a river), the girl sprouts to life. Her story involves the other figure seen on the rug, a man who loved her from afar, for reasons we'll discover as the film plays out.
Continue reading: Gabbeh Review
Surprise, on this Day we get three (genuine) women all going through various life experiences. They can be nearly meaningless -- a nine year old girl is given one hour to play on the morning of her birthday. They can mean the end of life as you know it -- a married woman is verbally divorced by her husband when she refuses to stop riding her beloved bicycle. And they can be perplexingly final -- a very old lady spends her life savings on all new appliances, sets them up on a beach, and then puts them all on rafts as she sets sail for a boat that doesn't exist.
Continue reading: The Day I Became A Woman Review
In The Silence, Khorshid is a blind 10-year-old boy living in Tajikistan. He's not quite indigent: He makes a living tuning instruments at a music shop, with his sister in tow. He's often late, though, because he wanders off to hear the street musicians, whom he later sort-of reinterprets as playing Beethoven's Fifth Symphony -- which is quite a hoot when heard strummed on all manner of Middle Eastern musical instruments.
Continue reading: The Silence (1998) Review
As Kiarostami entrenches in esoteric philosophical questions, wrapped in poetic imagery and near-mystical iconography, Makhmalbaf aims for realism (poorly filmed, but on the front lines) and political point-by-point dogma. Kandahar is the culmination of those interests, for better or for worse. As a former Islamic fundamentalist, he's slowly been rebelling against formalistic film technique and even Iran's popular art-house auteurism. In breaking down those conventions, Kandahar seems to be about what's happening in front of the camera more than the operation of the camera itself. A book of photographs may have been just as effective, but Makhmalbaf sticks to what he knows.
Continue reading: Kandahar Review
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