Through the Olive Trees ★★★

The weakest of the Koker trilogy.  Kiarostami’s blending of is far less subtle here than it was in Life and Nothing More, and less thematically relevant than in Close-Up.  The film’s famous final shot has been much-discussed, but I’m really not sure why; AK gives you every notion right from the outset that nothing you’re seeing is real, so whether a given interpretation works or not doesn’t seem particularly interesting.  (I was frankly missing the deep and beautiful simplicity of Where is the Friend’s House?)

His fractured, elliptical narratives would become infinitely more sophisticated in Certified Copy and Like Someone in Love— even in his masterwork Taste of Cherry, where it’s relegated to the closing passages.  Here it seems like he’s searching for something he never quite finds.