Through the Olive Trees

Director: Abbas Kiarostami
Year Released: 1994
Rating: 3.0

After an earthquake has damaged parts of Iran, a filmmaker (Mohamed Ali Keshavarz) is trying to put together his new movie, but either the actors are wrong for it or they don't say their lines correctly - while on set, a young man (Hossein Rezai) begs his co-star (Tahereh Ladanian) to marry him in real-life, but she won't even look in his direction (but he's unbelievably persistent and won't let up).  Anyone familiar with Kiarostami should know what to expect from him: long stretches of driving scenes, dialogue that gets repeated (it's 65 not 25!), a general sense of aimlessness, but there's still something folksy and simple about this particular film - and The Wind Will Carry Us a few years later - that resonates.  I've often joked that Kiarostami is a landscape photographer and auto enthusiast who sometimes forgets he's making a movie, but that's all right in this case.  And praise Allah that Tahereh gives Hossein some sort of hope or else the camera would have tracked them for another hour.