Ten

LetterboxD review link

After seeing Linklater’s Last Flag Flying recently, and writing a bit about how well Linklater does dialog on the road, I thought I’d visit Abbas Kiarostami’s Ten. I’ve only watched a few films here and there in Kiarostami’s filmography and this wasn’t one.

From the outset of this film, and it doesn’t take long to really jump into the emotional stuff, I was thinking of Jafar Panahi’s Taxi, a 2015 film that made a bit of a splash in the critic and festival conversations. That film had an impact on me when I first saw it and I’ve found myself thinking of it since. It is clear that Ten and Kiarostami’s whole filmography, for that matter, were clear inspirations for Panahi.

However, Ten didn’t work for me, emotionally, as well as Taxi did. Perhaps because the subject matter that Kiarostami explores (marriage, divorce, childhood, masculinity, prostitution and other general social concepts in Iran) feel a bit dated 15 years after the fact. Taxi, on the other hand, felt much more modern with its focus on media censorship and the mututal suspension of disbelief in authoritarian regimes between the public and the state. Kiarostami just never got to anything that complex in this film. He is, however, a master of the minimalist form and deserves praise for this.