Presented by ACMI in association with Sydney Film Festival, NFSA & Melbourne Cinémathèque
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An illuminating and direct piece of cinema that focuses on the lives of contemporary Iranian women.
A conceptual tour de force, Abbas Kiarostami's Ten goes from chilly abstraction to hot emotion in less than 60 seconds.
Premiering in Official Competition at the Cannes Film Festival, Ten centres on a chic divorcee in Tehran. She drives her young son across town and in between the encounters she journeys with various female passengers, who each provide an insight into the roles of, and attitudes toward, women in contemporary Iran.
Kiarostami’s Ten exploited advances in digital technology to create an entirely new cinema that experimented with form and "the disappearance of direction". Set entirely within the confines of a car and exploiting the size and portability of Mini DV (video) cameras, Kiarostami dispensed with a traditional crew and even himself as director.
In this form of cinema, the director is more like a football coach and has to do most of the work before the take starts.
Cars are a staple of Kiarostami’s films and after creating cinema largely void of female leads, the uniquely public/private space of the vehicle offered enormous narrative freedoms for his characters to explore the world. Moreover, by placing the actors side by side in the frame, Kiarostami achieved more naturalistic performances from his cast, resulting in a moving filmic experience.
– Kristy Matheson
READ: Five to Ten: Five Reflections on Abbas Kiarostami’s 10
Rolando Caputo, Senses of Cinema, Dec 2003
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