Following on from Peter Hutton’s At Sea (2007), Solar Studios and CENHS continues its Slow Cinema Series with Abbas Kiarostami’s contemplative 2003 work, Five Dedicated to Ozu. Serving as a visual homage to legendary Japanese director Yasujirō Ozu, Five consists of five 16 minute shots taken by the Caspian Sea in northern Iran and San Lorenzo Beach in Spain. All but one of the shots are taken from a fixed camera vantage point and focus on seemingly mundane subjects–a piece of driftwood, a group of ducks, a reflected moon.
Kiarostami’s film elevates scenes decontextualized from our common frame of understanding to loci of reverie and high drama. Whilst Hutton’s At Sea demands an attunement to the ignored spaces of industrial capitalism, Five consistently challenges us to think outside of a human context altogether. Only one shot includes human subjects, and in their narrative-free passage in front of the camera, those human bodies are rendered on a equal level with the non-human: the sea shore, the ducks, the driftwood etc.
It is our hope that as we screen this film for the next three evenings, passers by will be waylaid by Kiarostami’s camera and find themselves adopting a momentary and unfamiliar posture of receptivity.
(This screening of Five Dedicated to Ozu is part of CENHS and Solar Studios’ on-going Slow Cinema Series. Make sure to check-in about future screenings and associated projects in the coming weeks.)