The Wind Will Carry Us (1999)


Forgive me, I once wrote a very bad film critique on a great Kiarostami film, The Wind Will Carry Us. I reposted it below separate to its original bearing here in preparation for a series of critiques on some films by Kiarostami. Yes, yes, yes! I recently completed the 'essential' Kiarostamis oeuvre just this month. You might remember two years ago, I've seen two of his masterpieces, A Taste of Cherry (1997) and this one. These films were arguably two of the most unforgettable films I've ever seen in my life mainly because it propelled me to treasure the beauty of cinema at its minimalist level, a style that lingers in my viewing system until now. Yesterday, Sani and me were talking about the pleasure of experiencing the aesthetics of the contemplative over a series of short films at 6th Titus Brandsma Short Indie Film Festival. We both agreed that it was the virtue of long shot scale and the deep space mise-en-scene that we like similarly. However, Kiarostami's use of the long shot scale as shown in the images above works differently from the long shot scale, deep space mise-en-scene of Lav Diaz's features or Jia Zhangke. Kiarostami's use of the technique is even whimsical compared to its use of Welles in Citizen Kane (1941) and Renoir in Rules of the Game (1939). I want to revisit this aesthetic choice and some other Kiarostamian aesthetics by watching and rewatching some of his past works from the 1980s to 1990s. But anyways, you can ditch, condemn and react violently to the critique i made two years ago on one of his works below.


***bad critique starts here*****

Cinema permits the viewers to experience the darkness of human nature and the ugliness of ordinary life hidden beneath the subtlety of time. sex, violence, aberrant and criminal behavior are things the viewers permit themselves to witness - we derive pleasure from these experiences. (PRINCE, 2001) This perspective on cinema stems from a Hitchcockesian belief that "the viewers are like peeping tom able to witness forbidden sights without being held accountable for what is seen and enjoyed." (PRINCE, 2001)

The viewers' role on cinema is essentially voyeuristic, as what Hitchcock believes and is explored in his film, PSYCHO(1969).

What happened in (1997) cannes changed the whole perspective of cinematic viewing, when Kiarostami's A Taste of Cherry(1997) won Palme D'or(Golden Palm). In contrast to hitchcock's belief, kiarostami's approach to the viewers is profound enough that it launched Iranian cinema to the world. It was as if a new global wave swiped cultures with Kiarostami's masterpiece, A TASTE OF CHERRY(1997) as he explored topics such as existence, death and the dichotomy of good and evil with a fresher, more revitalize concrete portrayal.

Connecting with the world.

Two years later, another masterpiece revered Kiarostami and placed him in line with the master of cinema adjacent to Hitchcock and Kurosawa with his dazzling new technique of handling the dark auditorium theater. THE WIND WILL CARRY US (1999) have taken the role of audience from mere witnesses of moving pictures to a self-reflective individual in which the subconscious is highly affected.

THE WIND WILL CARRY US(1999) took, by surprise, the majestic themes of modernism. the film discusses how technology and communication can truly affect our lives. it let us reflect the value of physical alienation and its effects to finding the purpose.

The POEM...

The Wind Will Take Us

In my small night, ah
the wind has a date with the leaves of the trees
in my small night there is agony of destruction
do you hear the darkness blowing?
I look upon this bliss as a stranger
I am addicted to my despair.

listen do you hear the darkness blowing?
something is passing in the night
the moon is restless and red
and over this rooftop
where crumbling is a constant fear
clouds, like a procession of mourners
seem to be waiting for the moment of rain.
a moment
and then nothing
night shudders beyond this window
and the earth winds to a halt
beyond this window
something unknown is watching you and me.

O green from head to foot
place your hands like a burning memory
in my loving hands
give your lips to the caresses
of my loving lips
like the warm perception of being
the wind will take us
the wind will take us.

Forugh Farrokhzad
Translated by Ahmad Karimi Hakkak
The Persian Book Review VOLUME III, NO 12 Page 1337

Kiarostami sees cinema as a window to the human soul. He explores the idea of man through his prevalent use of symbolism. Though this generality can not stand alone, it is important to subject my criticism from the fundamental elements of film: the shots.

The reception of Kiarostami's film indeed requires critical perception. It hides important elements deep in the subconscious through symbolic and often straightforward representation of themes. The poem in which the film was based formed the structure of the film.

Is this a new cinematic experience?

Kiarostami's exploration of death.

The lyrical formal system explored in Kiarostami's THE WIND WILL CARRY US offers new challenges in criticism and film viewing. It jolts the critics with a question: should critics measure these films via the set of rules offered by 'conventional cinema' or should they include the possibility that cinema can substantiate a connection between the viewers subconscious perception?

***bad critique ends here*****