I am really champing at the bit to talk about this film here.
I agree that it is a film about marriage, despite the wide array of relational configurations its two main characters could inhabit.
But it is also a crescendo in Kairostami's career-long obsession with cinema and self-perception. I guess what we learn from Certified Copy
is that this innovative impluse we found in the Iranian New Wave, which revealed itself in Kairostami's tendency to ignore the fourth wall, is not just a handy political or social device. Rather, Kairostami has always been onto something more fundamental, something that emerges from his camera as a means of thinking compassionately about other people. As it turns out, Kairostami has always been interested in love
. Not just romantic love, marital love, or an abstract form of social compassion. But love as the fundamental element of the stories we tell about ourselves, and the stories we tell about each other. For better or for worse, we are all histories of love. (And this idea that "we are all histories of love" is the basis of a pretty profound politic... But that is probably the Yoder in me emerging in response to this film.)
Our experience of love reconstructs the timing and arranging of events in our self-narration, and configures the way we think about our future. After watching Certified Copy
, I just sat and thought back through all the other Kairostami films and watched these little switches flip. There has been something Resnais-like going on. Something Tarkovskian going on. I just never noticed it before.*
I didn't get Sicinski's praise for this film until this little a-ha moment happened. Now I get it. I think this is a really important film not just because it represents the high point of Kairostami's work, but because it does something a bit mind-blowing: It shows us the transcendent pulse of what I always pigeon-holed as a political film movement.
*Though in hindsight this is exactly why I have always prized Makhmalbaf's The Cyclist
, which while being very political is also very fundamentally about a simple act of love by someone unwilling to accept the current "story".
Edited by M. Leary, 21 March 2011 - 09:25 AM.