‘Look Again: Kiarostami – (Deleuze) – Ozu’
Workshop and book launch: Reorienting Ozu (2019)
King’s College, London, 7 March 2019.
Host: Jinhee Choi (King’s College London)
With Mark Betz (King’s College London); William Brown (University of Roehampton); Manuel Garin (Pompeu Fabra University); Albert Elduque Busquets (University of Reading); Alastair Philips (University of Warwick)
In 2003 the Iranian film director Abbas Kiarostami released a film called Five. The film is composed of five long takes. Kiarostami states, “I often have a problem giving my films a title. I look for a title that does not define the film.” Furthermore, he continues, with Five we should “not compare it with anything, especially with another film, because it is not comparable.”
Five would thus seem to have the most open of titles, a numerical signifier signifying a movie consisting of five episodes. However, Five also has two subtitles ‘5 Long Takes’ and ‘Dedicated to Yasujiro Ozu’. So it would seem— regardless of any trouble there may have been in choosing a name for the film— Kiarostami has expanded upon the elected title, twice. And in so doing, signalled a filmic process (the long take) and evoked an association with another filmmaker’s films: Ozu.
Expectations: the five episodes will each be composed of continuous shots of a sustained duration, and, accordingly, this procedure will somehow resonate with the movies of Ozu. However, Five is not simply a composition of five long takes and Ozu’s films are not even constituted by long takes. So the question: can we affirm Kiarostami’s dedication to Ozu?
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