Shirin Review

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113 actresses sit watching an adaptation of a 12-century Persian fable.


A masterly variation on the 1920s Kuleshov experiment that demonstrated filmic meaning’s heavy dependence upon context. Thus, the action consists of an audience supposedly watching a movie adaptation of a 12th-century Persian fable. But the storyline is an irrelevance, especially as the 113 actresses were reacting to emotive directions while following three dots on a blank surface.

What matters here is the art of screen acting, the perceptiveness of the camera and the power of cinema to manipulate. Moreover, Kiarostami confounds the fundamentalists by celebrating the expressive beauty of the female face in evocative close-ups.

As a powerful artistic experiment and an exploration of the the power of the close-up and subtle acting this is near perfect,