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.
A The film has amassed an estimated $28.7 million in its opening weekend
A statement was published on his fansite, True To You, following release of new album
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns aged 27
- 3 World peace? These are the only 11 countries in the world that are actually free from conflict
- 4 Nicki Minaj finally releases predictable 'Anaconda' video
- 5 James Foley 'beheading': Met police warn public watching murder video could be criminal offence
Laughs go global as Eddie Izzard and Dylan Moran bring international comedians to the Edinburgh Fringe
The Top Ten: Horrible buildings
JK Rowling releases new Harry Potter story on Pottermore: Introducing Celestina Warbuck, the 'Singing Sorceress'
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Best movies on Netflix UK and US: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish Independence Referendum: Salmond described as 'arrogant, ambitious and dishonest' by Scottish women