Saturday, September 12, 2009
There is in a lot of Kiarostami an explicit theme at work regarding the bridge between communication and perception—for a message to be received, apprehended, can be difficult enough between two people. When these attempts at communication, or more simply communion (e.g., between a person and his surroundings), extend beyond the immediately, physically present, Kiarostami's overall thematic notes the frail limits of things like cell phone reception, electricity, even a pure concept (like 'urbanity' or 'ennui'). Confrontations between concepts, like 'urban' and 'rural,' 'developed' and 'backward,' are not reiterations of a city mouse meets country mouse schtick at all, of course. The crutches, the scaffolding: this is part of Kiarostami's object, part of what he's describing. In ABC Africa, we come full circle, to Mother Nature: who can forget that lightning?