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The place is the Good friend’s Dwelling? (1987) Film Assessment

By Shaun Lee Case (El Sobrante, CA)

 

Within the movie, The place Is the Good friend’s Dwelling? Kiarostami demonstrates how plot happens organically from the easy motivations of a central character. This doesn't appear uncommon, till you think about his selection of a major character. As a substitute of utilizing a typical cinematic figurehead – a number one girl or male hero determine, each which require the formal trappings of plot, dramatic eventualities, and situational decision, Kiarostami makes use of a singular and considerably underutilized plot machine: that of telling the story by means of the voice and eyes of a minor character.

Akira Kurosawa used this ‘minor character’ machine successfully in The Hidden Fortress (1958), permitting the movie to unfold round two incompetent, bumbling peasant farmers who attempt to make slightly cash by signing up as conflict mercenaries. Within the opening scene, we see the farmers coming back from battle, carrying mere rags, bodily exhausted, blaming one another for his or her unlucky destiny. They have been late to the battle and made no cash, ending up as slaves for the opposition, burying their very own useless troopers. George Lucas claims this movie closely influenced his selection of central characters – the 2 bickering, unpleasant robots, C3PO and R2D2, in Star Wars (1977ii). Director Peter Jackson centered the motion of his epic Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003) upon two diminutive hobbits, farming peasants of their society, whom carry the magic ring to its remaining finish.

In his movie, Kiarostami centered on a younger schoolboy who by chance takes residence his buddy’s homework, with out which his buddy will get expelled the subsequent day. By centering the movie on the routine trials of the boy, the viewers follows a socially impartial central character, permitting the viewer to see the townspeople within the movie with none restrictions. We see the boy’s mom in an unadulterated method – a drained, overworked, strict disciplinarian with three children, exhausted by the top of her day.

We see the underwhelmed schoolteacher, dissatisfied by his college students and clearly sad along with his job; the village door maker, on the finish of his life, sharing his former glories and regrets with the boy. The boy’s grandfather shares his philosophy in life, telling us why he’s so arduous on the boy; (“My old man gave me a penny and a beating everyday…he sometimes forgot to give me the penny…but the beating…somehow, he never forgot to give me the beating…”) Not chastising the boy would enable him to develop up delicate and undisciplined, unable to maintain a job or help his household. (“It’s the tradition we live by.”) The elder technology requires self-discipline within the younger trendy Iranians, extra closely influenced by Western beliefs than the earlier technology.

One instance from the movie of a convention passing from the elders to the younger boy is uncovered within the remaining picture of the movie. Earlier, the village door maker gave the boy a flower and stated, “Put this in your book…”

[The instructor checks the boy’s homework. He opens the guide, discovering the homework and a pressed flower, which was given to the boy by the door maker. “Good boy…” the instructor says. The picture stays on display screen. Blackout.]

Kiarostami leaves it as much as the viewers to interpret the importance of the flower. Maybe it's an historic Persian customized, some centuries previous, or maybe the instructor reconnected with nature for one transient second when he noticed the flower. Iranians are very keen on poetry, and this actually is a poetic gesture, however I assert it's a image of the lesson discovered by the boy; an artifact proving that some elder relative took the time to point out him one thing about his Persian tradition.

In Iran, Pressed flowers signify the eternity of nature, and show to the instructor – and viewers – that the boy has discovered a central life lesson alongside along with his humble faculty project whereas looking (in useless) for the buddy’s home.

i http://www.criterion.com/present/posts/117
ii http://www.thedigitalbits.com/reviews2/hiddenfortress.html

 

Ranking: 5/5

 

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