Slowly but Surely

Abbas Kiarostami's The Wind Will Carry Us takes its time pondering the human condition

A work at once intellectual and spiritual (these are exceptional qualities indeed in an era when most moviegoers get their metaphysics from The Matrix), The Wind Will Carry Us approximates--and appreciates--the world in a way that can be found only in the most rarefied works of art. In its Jacques Tati-style formalist visuals and its deadpan, Beckettesque manner of...well, waiting, it's also pretty damned funny. And, in its own topsy-turvy way, it's just as self-reflexive as the filmmaker's 1990 masterpiece Close-Up: With his omnipresent shades and his camera, the snap-happy Engineer reminds me of a certain Iranian director, and I'm not talking about Mohsen Makhmalbaf. As his crew begins to bitch about delays, it's clear that the Engineer is presiding over a film set gone wrong. It's no surprise, then, that when he's finally rewarded with his close-up, the Engineer is shaving, and the camera lens is his mirror.

Welcome to Y2Kiarostami.

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