Five (U)

Film

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Time Out says

Mon May 16 2005

This truly is the cinema of the meditative bird-watcher. At 74 minutes, Abbas Kiarostami’s five-segment experiment in digital cinema is a work of sublime simplicity – more reductive even than his last feature, ‘Ten’. Its subject – although such a word feels redundant in the context of such a radical work – is nature itself. First, we watch as a static camera captures a series of waves as they break on the shore, with only sand and surf in shot. It’s hallucinatory stuff as a lone piece of driftwood moves back and forth. Next up, strangers walk along the coastline, each one making a grand entrance stage-left or right. Then, shot from a greater distance, we see a dog playing by the sea. Or is it a cow? Kiarostami intensifies the light levels to distort our vision, whitening the view as if a nuclear holocaust has arrived. Is this the bright light you see in those peaceful moments before death, a happy life lived? Then come the ducks, a gaggle of feathered friends waddling in and out of the shot, eliciting the purest of comedy from the barest of scenarios. Finally, an odder, initially indecipherable segment turns out to be the reflection on water of the moon at night as frogs (or toads?) make an awful racket in the background. ‘Five’ demands total immersion. For that reason, Kiarostami’s latest film belongs in the cinema, not the gallery, even though its lack of traditional narrative and experimental form are suggestive of the world of video art. Yes, ‘Five’is demanding, but strangely so, considering it’s a work of such wonderful minimalism.
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Release details

Rated:

U

UK release:

Fri May 20, 2005

Duration:

74 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Arch Oboler, Abbas Kiarostami

Cast:

Earl Lee, Charles Lampkin, James Anderson, Susan Douglas, William Phipps

Music:

Henry Russell

Production Designer:

Arch Oboler

Editor:

John Hoffman

Cinematography:

Louis Clyde Stoumen

Screenwriter:

Arch Oboler

Producer:

Arch Oboler

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Ricky

Such a pure delight! The usual response to a movie giving the feeling of insufficient stimulation and lack of explanation of what is happening as is the case with FIVE is to get angry as if you are beng cheated. If you can get past that crude response then other possibilities are there to play with. One is to enjoy projecting your feelings and ideas on what is shown. What a wonderful life it would be to be a dog and just sit by the sea shore while the sumn goes down! Another is to let your mind go still and just watch the visual movements presented without need for them to mean something beyond what they are already. The sea is the easiest thing to watch and just be present to its movements and sounds without demanding anything else. In this movie Kiarostami presents the opportunity to look at your responses to what is so, which unfortunately requires more patience than most people in our busy world can find in themselves. But if you can find that patience it is a glorious delight.

Ricky

Such a pure delight! The usual response to a movie giving the feeling of insufficient stimulation and lack of explanation of what is happening as is the case with FIVE is to get angry as if you are beng cheated. If you can get past that crude response then other possibilities are there to play with. One is to enjoy projecting your feelings and ideas on what is shown. What a wonderful life it would be to be a dog and just sit by the sea shore while the sumn goes down! Another is to let your mind go still and just watch the visual movements presented without need for them to mean something beyond what they are already. The sea is the easiest thing to watch and just be present to its movements and sounds without demanding anything else. In this movie Kiarostami presents the opportunity to look at your responses to what is so, which unfortunately requires more patience than most people in our busy world can find in themselves. But if you can find that patience it is a glorious delight.

Technoguy

I'm afraid this was a little too minimalist.It's the art of doodling,the art of saying nothing.Let nature do the work.This is like holiday snaps are to us:charming,pointless,eccentric but nothing more.This was leisurely day dreaming in between other jobs.Animal,vegetable,mineral,take your choice of leading actor.It brings to mind the kind of video art you get in galleries.This best of all will send you to sleep. Forget the theorising that is required to appreciate this:that is the little white card next to the picture you do not understand.I think Blake was against nature and I can see why!No,this is a dead end.