612 Certified Copy

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)

#26 Post by Michael Kerpan » Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:37 pm

Finally saw this -- courtesy of the lovely AE Blu-Ray. What an excellent film, one of my favorites of the year. A good companion piece for this might be one of my favorite films of 2009, HUR Jin-ho's "A Good Rain Knows" -- which is sort of an inverted form of CC. In Good Rain, there is no doubt that the central couple knew each other in the past (also a tran-national couple -- one is Korean, the other Chinese, their shared language is English) -- yet there memories of their shared past seem almost irreconciliable. FWIW, this is one of the most intelligent (ultimately sweet-natured) romantic dramas ever.

I wonder if the meaning of the film does not depend on some knowledge of what a "conformed copy" (a relic of the legal world before the era of instant and identical copies)?

My initial on what goes on in CC is that the two individuals both have fractured past relationships and, as a game more interesting than abstract argumentation, play at re-creating a shared projection (and reconcviliation of sorts) of their "incomplete" relationships -- as if these HAD actually persisted for a full 15 years. I wonder if the end does not suggest that this collaboration on "forgery" of a past relationship generates the possibility of the creation of an authentic future one?

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knives
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Re: Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)

#27 Post by knives » Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:22 am

I loved this. It really beats Inception at it's own game. It seems to be talking about itself the whole time. The whole opening sequence seems to address it's critics with the male lead's speech. Of course at the same time, and those that want to can ignore the speech, we're introduced to the female lead in a typical sort of way with a great performance by Binoche. In fact it may be her best performance yet. After two scenes we stick with the 'couple' for the rest of the movie which ends in a perfect purely Kiarostami sort of way.

Speaking of that, the most esoteric layer to the film is how it relates to Kiarostami and French cinema. I won't explain the thesis of the film since it does it better than I ever could, but it does ask whether Kiaostami can make a legitimate work working in France. Can he make a French and still have it be worth praise? This layer will really only make sense for neophytes of Kiarostami and modern French cinema. Particularly the French cinema of the post Pialat mold ala Summer Hours and Desplechin. This movie is very much in that tradition and Kiarostami tries to hide the fact that this is a Kiarostami picture, but still gives a few hints of that like with the fourth sequence which is very characteristically set in a moving car.

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Re: Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)

#28 Post by matrixschmatrix » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:36 am

Just got to see this at the last showing of its one-week engagement here. I'm not entirely sure I saw a masterpiece, but I would definitely side with the boosters and it's at the top of my list for this year so far.

One of the things I thought was interesting was that, to me, this was a movie about Binoche- her nervousness in meeting a man she was somewhat interested in, her emotional life, her relationship with her son, her view of the world, etc- up until the point that the dialog between her character and James' dialog switched from his language to hers. At that point, though she was now fundamentally the storyteller, I felt as though we were seeing the movie more through his eyes: he has a scene in which he has a conversation without her, and while I still felt a lot of sympathy for Binoche's pain, a lot of the beats of the story begin to turn on her (presumably) inventing something and his nonplussed responses. What's going through his head is broadly clear, whereas she is moving into a strange narrative world of her own.

Obviously, the turning point isn't actually the language shift, as the coffee scene also contains the five-years-ago thing, and the first suggestion that the couple were married, but I feel like it's part of an interesting tension in the movie about who is controlling the narrative vs. who the narrative is actually about- and an interesting reminder that the person you empathize with is the one the camera is pointing at, not the one pointing the camera.

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Re: Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)

#29 Post by Murdoch » Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:56 am

This is one of those films that I thought I knew where it was going as a rather dry discussion film about the nature of copies with the two leads acting as mouthpieces for opposing views, but then the mentioned cafe scene occurs and it took me a bit to regain my footing.
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I hope I'm right in deducing that Elle and James were replicating Elle's failed marriage with James as the stand-in for Elle's ex-husband, because otherwise what I'm about to say will make no sense (it was a 10pm screening with me on five hours of sleep, bear with me). The way James sort of ceases to be anything outside of the copy of Elle's husband and any "originality" he showed at the film's beginning slowly gives way until he becomes an entity completely mimicking the husband made me think this as a sort of horror film as James loses his identity and in turn replicates Elle's past, I thought the final shot was him coming to the realization that he will not make his train because he has ceased to be his "original" self and become a copy, the reminder to Elle that he has to be at the station at nine the last effort of his "original" self to not become a complete copy. Whereas Elle becomes, from what I could gather, a copy of her married self but still herself in a sense, and I thought the exploration of her marriage through James was a brilliant way of showing how we project the traits of the people we know onto other people until the stranger becomes a sort of copy of the person we once knew.

The hammy dinner scene where Elle "makes herself pretty" is the most interesting segment of the film for me, as both characters take on exaggerated features of their copied identities and the artifice of their identities and relationship is most clearly drawn attention to. The segment feels so unreal when compared to the rest of the film, whereas the rest of the film the characters act in a natural and for lack of a better word realistic fashion, here they are like two cartoon characters. Copies of marital strife perhaps because Elle has exaggerated these instances in her mind, and they are mere replications of her biased memory where her husband is cruel and insensitive, taking on the characteristics of a child.
I love deciphering this film as there are so many layers ripe for it, although it's nearly 2am and my possibly incoherent rambling must come to an end, night.

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Re: Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)

#30 Post by knives » Fri Apr 08, 2011 2:01 am

Was the big twist BS like that? I took it at face value as legit which while opening the film to a lot of interesting directions would be a very different set of ideas and explorations than what you posit.

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Re: Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)

#31 Post by Murdoch » Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:32 am

Like I said I was exhausted, so I probably didn't pick up on a lot of the stuff beneath the surface.

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Re: Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)

#32 Post by matrixschmatrix » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:24 pm

That's an interesting take- it's not what I thought was going on at all.
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I think Elle was hurting from a failed marriage, but I think most of the details she was using for the pseudo-marriage with James were new, and not projections from her old one. Her exhaustion and feelings of loneliness and of being the only one who was around seemed real, but the specifics about having been married at that spot, the fifteen years of marriage, the falling asleep on the anniversary, etc. etc. etc. were all things she came up with based on a response to the locations at the spur of the moment.

There is an almost metaphysical change that starts happening in the second half- James tells her a story she told him about falling asleep at the wheel, which we didn't hear and doesn't seem actually to have been told, and her story about James only shaving every other day turns out to be correct, but I don't think that's meant to be anything so concrete as James becoming trapped in her story. I think he is leaving on that 9 o'clock train.

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Re: Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)

#33 Post by swo17 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:32 pm

This may sound like a joke but I'm actually sort of serious.
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I prefer to think of the two characters as gradually transforming into an old married couple through magic.

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matrixschmatrix
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Re: Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)

#34 Post by matrixschmatrix » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:39 pm

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Yeah, that's kind of what I was thinking of as a metaphysical change, there. The thing is, even after that metamorphosis, he's still leaving on that train.

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Re: Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)

#35 Post by Murdoch » Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:08 pm

matrixschmatrix wrote:That's an interesting take- it's not what I thought was going on at all.
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I think Elle was hurting from a failed marriage, but I think most of the details she was using for the pseudo-marriage with James were new, and not projections from her old one. Her exhaustion and feelings of loneliness and of being the only one who was around seemed real, but the specifics about having been married at that spot, the fifteen years of marriage, the falling asleep on the anniversary, etc. etc. etc. were all things she came up with based on a response to the locations at the spur of the moment.

There is an almost metaphysical change that starts happening in the second half- James tells her a story she told him about falling asleep at the wheel, which we didn't hear and doesn't seem actually to have been told, and her story about James only shaving every other day turns out to be correct, but I don't think that's meant to be anything so concrete as James becoming trapped in her story. I think he is leaving on that 9 o'clock train.
This is why I need to see this again less sleep-deprived, I'll probably end up importing the AE blu. As for what I can piece together now:
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She did seem to be making up her memories on the spot as she and James strolled through the town and spotted the specific points connected to their marriage, but James seemed to only be following her lead and the memories she recalled, as he didn't recall anything about the hotel or anniversary. So perhaps he wasn't trapped within Elle's memory as from what I recall he shared none of her memories of their romance, the only memories they shared were traumatic like the falling asleep at the wheel. So I'm going to cast aside the "trapped in Elle's memory" angle to a certain degree, but I do think that James was replicating a specific part of Elle's failed marriage, the parts that led to its failure. The only instance of actual affection that he shows her comes after the man from the couple they met by the statue tells James to put his hand on her shoulder, he's only be mimicking what he's been told and this behavior feels strange when compared to the bickering and coldness that has been the basis of his replicated character.

As for the train, perhaps he does catch it, I don't think it's as significant as I made it out to be in my prior post. Also, I no longer think he's come to some stunning realization, instead I think he may just be reverting back to his previous self. The ending is something I'm most eager to return to as I can't recall it clearly enough now to make any educated interpretation.

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Re: Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)

#36 Post by Jack Phillips » Fri Apr 08, 2011 2:09 pm

The ending is something I'm most eager to return to as I can't recall it clearly enough now to make any educated interpretation.
The ending is ambiguous, and will support whatever interpretation of the film you favor. To wit:
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He either catches the train or does not catch the train.

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Re: Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)

#37 Post by Michael Kerpan » Fri Apr 08, 2011 2:33 pm

I still think James is working through roughly the same sort of issues as Elle -- they are both playing at creating a shared present -- based on fragments of their own (separate) shattered pasts.

My wife thinks he did _not_ catch the train.

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Re: Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)

#38 Post by Highway 61 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 5:02 pm

Murdoch wrote:This is one of those films that I thought I knew where it was going as a rather dry discussion film about the nature of copies with the two leads acting as mouthpieces for opposing views, but then the mentioned cafe scene occurs and it took me a bit to regain my footing.
SpoilerShow
I hope I'm right in deducing that Elle and James were replicating Elle's failed marriage with James as the stand-in for Elle's ex-husband, because otherwise what I'm about to say will make no sense (it was a 10pm screening with me on five hours of sleep, bear with me). The way James sort of ceases to be anything outside of the copy of Elle's husband and any "originality" he showed at the film's beginning slowly gives way until he becomes an entity completely mimicking the husband made me think this as a sort of horror film as James loses his identity and in turn replicates Elle's past, I thought the final shot was him coming to the realization that he will not make his train because he has ceased to be his "original" self and become a copy, the reminder to Elle that he has to be at the station at nine the last effort of his "original" self to not become a complete copy. Whereas Elle becomes, from what I could gather, a copy of her married self but still herself in a sense, and I thought the exploration of her marriage through James was a brilliant way of showing how we project the traits of the people we know onto other people until the stranger becomes a sort of copy of the person we once knew.

The hammy dinner scene where Elle "makes herself pretty" is the most interesting segment of the film for me, as both characters take on exaggerated features of their copied identities and the artifice of their identities and relationship is most clearly drawn attention to. The segment feels so unreal when compared to the rest of the film, whereas the rest of the film the characters act in a natural and for lack of a better word realistic fashion, here they are like two cartoon characters. Copies of marital strife perhaps because Elle has exaggerated these instances in her mind, and they are mere replications of her biased memory where her husband is cruel and insensitive, taking on the characteristics of a child.
I love deciphering this film as there are so many layers ripe for it, although it's nearly 2am and my possibly incoherent rambling must come to an end, night.
It's been two months since I saw this, but my feelings vis-à-vis James's originality were that:
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In the penultimate scene, when Binoche attempts to sleep with him, he rejects her advance, retreats from the masquerade he's been playing, and regains his "original" identity, but by doing so, he also rejects his aesthetic philosophy described at the beginning of the film. Although at first he says that a copy is just as authentic as an original, by the end of the film, he cannot consummate his relationship with Binoche because as he witnesses her remarkably painful yearning for some kind of heartfelt erotic experience, he realizes that he can never replicate the kind of sadness that brought her to this point, and therefore he cannot adequately address her needs. So, he's back to his original self, but he's had to cast aside whatever philosophical doctrine he espoused and is now at a point where he must develop a new self. In a sense, he's newly single after a divorce.

Now, as for whether or not he makes the train, I presume that's intentionally ambiguous. I believe he said it left at nine, and then we hear the clock tower ringing, but I can't remember how many times it struck. Being a sentimentalist, I would prefer to believe that he's stuck in town with Binoche and therefore forced to develop a relationship with her not as a copy, but as his authentic self. Yet, of course, that's just me.

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Re: Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)

#39 Post by matrixschmatrix » Fri Apr 08, 2011 5:14 pm

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Certainly, one of the things that became increasingly clear was that whatever her protestations, Elle was far more willing to embrace the spirit of James' work than James himself was- but I think James' disinterest in copies was partially because he wasn't terribly interested in authentic aesthetic or emotional experiences, either. He's afraid of them, he thinks art is dangerous, he distances himself from anyone who is showing any strong emotion (genuine or feigned), and as far as I recall he never reacts strongly to any of the works he sees in the movie- he coos over the view once or twice, and he makes an intellectual point about the beauty of a tree, but he never seems to feel anything other than a sort of fear of entanglement about anything.

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Re: Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)

#40 Post by knives » Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:40 pm

I know that everyone is hung up on the story right now, but for me the most interesting aspect of the movie (and the one that seems to be left over from Shirin) was how it was constantly commenting on itself. The whole opening sequence seems to address it's critics with the male lead's speech. The most esoteric layer to the film is how it relates to Kiarostami and French cinema. It seems to be asking whether Kiaostami can make a legitimate work working in France. Can he make a French and still have it be worth praise? This movie is very much in the tradition of the post Pialat mold ala Summer Hours and Desplechin. Kiarostami seems to be trying to hide the fact that this is a Kiarostami picture, but still gives a few hints of that like with the fourth sequence which is very characteristically set in a moving car.

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Re: Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)

#41 Post by John Cope » Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:05 pm

For those thus inclined, the pieces on the film by Michael Sicinski and Jim Emerson are certainly the best I have read so far; almost enough to make me reconsider it myself--almost, but not quite.

I am hesitant to get into this too much as it may be one of those things like Domino's reaction to Uncle Boonmee that can't easily be expressed diplomatically. There's also the obvious fact that, in this case in particular, much of anyone's reaction to these proceedings will be inherently subjective (much but not all); still, this specific defense for interpretive fluidity is, in the end, part of what I dislike the most. And that because it is here a deceptive strategy.

It was not always so. I have, in the past, been greatly appreciative of K's attempts to engage us in collaborative poetic cinema and admired everything of his I have seen up to and including what may very well be his materpiece, The Wind Will Carry Us. Since then, however, I have enjoyed his work only sporadically and with increasing infrequency. There are probably a number of reasons for that, some of which may be socio-economic. But, whatever the case, I can say that the only film work of his that I've truly loved from this last decade is Five and his segment from Tickets. Maybe Roads of Kiarostami, too, though that's pretty minor. I disliked Ten, thought ABC Africa was only passable and thoroughly hated the experience of both this film and Shirin.

I'm not sure what to attribute that to exactly, though I have my ideas. In the case of CC, at least, it felt and continues to feel like (if I may crib from Nothing's playbook for a moment) an intentional sop to Western audiences. Not because of the style of the picture and its Euro cinema semblances but more because of its privileging of personal psychology as some sort of crypt key. It invites direct engagment with that whole "figuring it out" approach of constructive argument rather than his more characterisitc poetic speculation. This can't help but feel to me like a narrowing of vistas, though I can see how some might want to see it as refinement of a technique. And certainly the conceptual stuff is still present (all too present) to reflect on and enter into dialogue with; its existence is nothing if not prominent and unavoidable. And it provides another much desired contemporary quality: a built in remove for much of the neo-sophisticate audience who secretly craves indulging in the sort of socio-psychological dynamic that constitutes the whole of a certain modern world view but who don't want to ever have to blatantly concede to or acknowledge that desire. The concepts may be integrated into the relationship scenes but they also provide a recognizably distinct safety net frame for intellectually self-aware orientation. That conceit/device always rankles me.

Once again, that's not how Kiarostami generally functions. His great work is all about subsuming those academic concerns or meta-concerns within the whole; a full integration in which those things complement the specific elements expressing them rather than endless "commenting" on themselves or the action. It's not excessivley qualified in other words. I don't think even that high relief ending of Taste of Cherry does that as it introduces the meta element in an overt fashion only then, creating a fissure that compounds what we have seen by offering another way of regarding it and reflecting on it. The bulk of the picture is, in a sense, sealed off from that, complemented by it now but otherwise self-contained and having infused its layers of meaning into one unified, coherent narrative stream. To vary from this approach there should be some benefit but I see almost nothing but deficits and distractions in this film.

If one wants to think all this is just an interpolation of intent onto K's otherwise open text, I would argue then that he should have reigned Binoche in more. Her performance was like nails on a chalkboard to me all throughout and not just at those brief moments of heightened caricature or parody. It's tedious because no matter how much it's meant to represent the variations and shading of "authentic" (always irritatingly in quotes) emotional life it's constantly undercut both by K's endlessly intrusive and self-qualifying context and Binoche's eye roll inducing displays that are all too obviously meant to be taken as Moments of Experience. Beyond that, the issue for me is that the contextualizing ideas or framing thematic preoccupations simply aren't that profound anyway; I think it's all pretty shallow, in fact, and plays like remedial Kiarostami. The concept could be profound, of course, and is in theory but we've been here before and he's done this same sort of thing better. The main difference is, as noted, the privileging of the individual characters' psyches as a way to provide an accessible expression of these sand shifting, slippery notions of self and performative identity. But for me this fails too because it feels small, not "real", not human, but petty and I realize this too may have been the intent but, frankly, if there's to be that much qualification I just check out.

The ending (specifically the last two or three minutes) is about the only thing I did like and I liked that a lot. In a sense it's the opposite of the ending of Taste of Cherry. Whereas there the introduction of blatant self-referentiality deepened our engagement with the already established humanity of the piece, here the humanity (its authenticity, if you will) is established too little and far too late. It doesn't prompt reflection back upon all the self-conscious, self aware adventures in artifice but instead lets the air out of the whole enterprise by giving us a window into a moment of unselfconsciousnesss, non-regard of self in which the expression of humanity's depths and imbued imagism is simply lived, perhaps by virtue of exhaustion with all the overt theatrics of role playing and the hollow posturing of emotional histrionics as an end unto themselves. The performance remains and we know that already and that is enough.

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Re: Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2011)

#42 Post by zedz » Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:01 am

What the hell, here's my hypothesis, as yet untested by a second viewing, so maybe complete bullshit:
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Elle was actually the wife of the James's Italian translator, who was hosting the talk at the beginning and whom she sat down next to (in the front row, where a place was being kept for her). This helps explain why Elle is charged with entertaining the visiting writer and why she's already so familiar with his just-published book. There are also some words the writer offers about this particular translation at the outset that hereby aquire extra significance.

This also adds the additional layers that the writer becomes, during the course of the day's 'performance,' a copy of the man who was, in a different sense, already a copy of himself.

In addition to this, Elle's discussion with her son at the start suggests that she (and he) were the originals for James's ideas about the purpose and value of copies - the couple he saw in Florence. If this is the case, presumably Elle would have recognised herself in the book and this accounts for her fascination with it and with James. And of course, James should also have recognised Elle as the woman from Florence - though he won't at first know whether or not she knows. This adds an additional game of cat-and-mouse to the already very complex game they are playing as well as providing more a grounding for why they're playing the game in the first place.
But of course, although this is all fascinating and rewarding, the film has plenty to offer in terms of its ideas (e.g. how exactly can you distinguish an authentic romantic gesture from a fascimile of one? and does it matter?) whatever narrative you ascribe - which is why I think there are so many possibilities (which is also part of the fun). In this respect, I think Kiarostami is not at all doing what John Cope sees him doing here: if you follow the ideas through to their logical conclusion, it doesn't really matter what the 'solution' to the narrative conundrum is, or if there is one at all - and in this respect the film really is only a 'certified copy' of the kind of European cinema it appears to be. It's really an abstract essay film that simulates a romantic narrative.

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Re: Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2011)

#43 Post by knives » Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:08 am

zedz wrote: in this respect the film really is only a 'certified copy' of the kind of European cinema it appears to be. It's really an abstract essay film that simulates a romantic narrative.
That's a far better version of what I was getting at with all of that meta-commentary mumbo jumbo. I'm not one to look for or at cryptic clues, but in this case I felt it was obviously looking at itself and Kiarostami and how it relates to this new cinematic world that he is 'copying'.

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Re: Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2011)

#44 Post by matrixschmatrix » Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:23 am

zedz wrote:But of course, although this is all fascinating and rewarding, the film has plenty to offer in terms of its ideas (e.g. how exactly can you distinguish an authentic romantic gesture from a fascimile of one? and does it matter?) whatever narrative you ascribe - which is why I think there are so many possibilities (which is also part of the fun). In this respect, I think Kiarostami is not at all doing what John Cope sees him doing here: if you follow the ideas through to their logical conclusion, it doesn't really matter what the 'solution' to the narrative conundrum is, or if there is one at all - and in this respect the film really is only a 'certified copy' of the kind of European cinema it appears to be. It's really an abstract essay film that simulates a romantic narrative.
I agree strongly with that- it's fun, in a passing-the-time way, to discuss concrete narrative interpretations about what is actually happening with the characters, but fundamentally I think it's besides the point. To me, one of the movies this most closely resembles is F for Fake- both in the sense that it represents its own thesis in its form as well as its content, and more broadly in the way in which it is playful, deceiving the viewer in both obvious and extremely subtle ways simultaneously. The actual backstory of the characters in this is no more relevant than, say, the actual personal life of Howard Hughes is to Welles' film.

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Re: Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2011)

#45 Post by Jeff » Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:34 am

I love zedz's hypothesis regarding the translator, which I had not even remotely considered, and which will probably send me back to the theater later this week. Ultimately, I agree with the notion that this is not really a puzzle to be solved at all.

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Re: Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)

#46 Post by Jack Phillips » Mon Apr 11, 2011 3:25 pm

John Cope wrote: The ending (specifically the last two or three minutes) is about the only thing I did like and I liked that a lot. In a sense it's the opposite of the ending of Taste of Cherry. Whereas there the introduction of blatant self-referentiality deepened our engagement with the already established humanity of the piece, here the humanity (its authenticity, if you will) is established too little and far too late. It doesn't prompt reflection back upon all the self-conscious, self aware adventures in artifice but instead lets the air out of the whole enterprise by giving us a window into a moment of unselfconsciousnesss, non-regard of self in which the expression of humanity's depths and imbued imagism is simply lived, perhaps by virtue of exhaustion with all the overt theatrics of role playing and the hollow posturing of emotional histrionics as an end unto themselves. The performance remains and we know that already and that is enough.
I don't know what "imbued imagism" means, but otherwise I find this a pretty good assessment of the ending of the film. I think perhaps there are other moments of authenticity in the film--the conversation between Binoche and the woman in the coffee shop, for one, or perhaps the point where the older man offers the hero his "fatherly" advice. I agree that such moments are preferable to the artifice employed throughout most of the film, but perhaps it is the contrast between the artificial and the authentic that makes the latter stand out enough to be appreciated.

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Re: Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2011)

#47 Post by zedz » Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:48 pm

Jeff wrote:I love zedz's hypothesis regarding the translator, which I had not even remotely considered, and which will probably send me back to the theater later this week. Ultimately, I agree with the notion that this is not really a puzzle to be solved at all.
And don't forget that the translator is played by the film's producer! I have no idea whether or not this is significant.

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Jeff
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Re: Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2011)

#48 Post by Jeff » Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:17 pm

zedz wrote:
Jeff wrote:I love zedz's hypothesis regarding the translator, which I had not even remotely considered, and which will probably send me back to the theater later this week. Ultimately, I agree with the notion that this is not really a puzzle to be solved at all.
And don't forget that the translator is played by the film's producer! I have no idea whether or not this is significant.
Maybe. I definitely think the casting of Carrière is significant since he kind of symbolizes "European Art Cinema" having spent the last 50 years writing films for Malle, Forman, Wajda, Schlöndorff, and especially Buñuel... with, perhaps, That Obscure Object of Desire being the most significant connection. I'm now completely convinced this is all relevant!

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Re: Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2011)

#49 Post by zedz » Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:25 pm

Well, if we're going to go there (and why not? this is a film about doing just that), then Kiarostami's Italian producer (who was apparently on-set the whole time) could be seen as the guy who 'translates' Kiarostami's cinema into a Euro arthouse mode. That's a good point about Carriere: the casting of this film is extremely deliberate and expressive of certain ideas within the film (e.g. Binoche's iconic artfilm status, Shimell as an artistic 'transplant', the multiple languages in play)

kiarostami
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 11:35 pm

Re: Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2011)

#50 Post by kiarostami » Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:14 pm

After having the blu ray in my possession for many months, I finally rewatched it and was very disappointed with the audio distribution. I have a fairly simple stereo setup with surround sound that picks up surround quite well, but it seems AE really screwed the pooch, with a front loading of almost all the audio, despite the overwhelming sound design throughout, especially with ambient sounds. The concluding scene with its mourning doves and bells was certainly surround when I saw it, but there is not a hint of surround here, thereby damaging one of the great sequences in modern cinema IMHO. I can only assume Criterion will fix this.

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