Friday 26 June 2009
Now here's a real test of your mettle.
I thought Abbas Kiarostami's amazing Ten pushed the envelope, with its camera fixed on a woman behind the wheel of her car. But at least she was on the move, and talking to her passengers. Shirin is austerity itself, a 90-minute sequence of close-ups on the faces of an Iranian cinema audience as they sit and watch a movie. No cutaways, just those faces – and only one of them, Juliette Binoche, recognisable to Westerners. The film they're watching is based on a Persian poem about a star-crossed Armenian princess, and Shirin simply monitors the emotional reactions – a twitch, a smile – which the drama provokes on each physiognomy. The cast, incidentally, are all female, though men can be glimpsed in seats here and there. Why all women? Because, says the director, "they are more beautiful, complicated and sensational". Cheers! It becomes quite mesmerising, though you really do have to enjoy looking at women's faces.
elephant appealThe first 23 lots in our charity auction have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
Jennifer Lawrence attacks mass media again over body image
scienceScientists find the answer to a question that even puzzled Darwin
A very timely Great Train Robbery and a frantic 24 Hours in A&E among the highlights
scienceThe new development in bio-printing technology could be used in the future to restore lost vision - though years of research still await
Geoffrey Macnab: The Wolf of Wall Street's account of white-collar excess is A Rake’s Progress on steroids
arts + entsThe 'Friends' actor on his new role as campaigner on addiction issues
Arts & Ents blogs
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, film review
Brian Griffin returns: Cartoon dog back from the dead in Family Guy Christmas episode
Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber announces he's 'retiring from music'
Nymphomaniac, film review: 'Despite the surreal sex scenes this is a serious drama'
The Wolf of Wall Street, film review: 'A lurid, profanity bespattered movie'
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Fox News presenter tells viewers it is a 'fact' that both Jesus and Santa Claus are white
You can STILL be jailed for being a republican, government confirms, and it remains illegal to even 'imagine' overthrowing the Queen
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
Fighting back: the woman giving a voice (and 49,999 others) to the victims of sexism - by giving an airing to their horror stories
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber announces he's 'retiring from music'
- 4 Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile
- 5 Status: Wet - Woman walks off a pier while checking Facebook on her phone
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