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(aka "Le Goût de la cerise" or "Ta'm e guilass")

 

directed by Abbas Kiarostami
Iran 1997

 

There's no getting around the fact that the movies of Abbas Kiarostami divide audiences--in this country, in his native Iran, and everywhere else they're shown. Even in France, where his work has probably been celebrated longer than anywhere else, a couple of his earlier features reportedly flopped, though subsequent ones gained a passionate following--a pattern that resembles my own mixed reaction when I first encountered his work about five years ago at the Toronto film festival. I can no longer recall which film of his I saw first, but one that I now regard as profound and mysterious, "Where Is My Friend's House?", initially struck me as bland and pedestrian, a comedy about schoolchildren that seemed to be aiming for the charm of minor Truffaut--cute at best. And it wasn't until a few days after I saw "Life and Nothing More" that the full richness of it began to settle in. Lately I've come to realize that what I regard as the most wondrous thing to happen in cinema in many years, Kiarostami's movies, strikes a few friends and colleagues as boring and empty, even predictable--enough of them to make me realize that recognition of Kiarostami's greatness can't be taken for granted, even though his "Taste of Cherry" shared the Palme d'Or at Cannes last year. And some colleagues who share my reverence for "Taste of Cherry" part company with me over its startling final sequence--which they see as a blemish on an otherwise masterful work and I see as the element that makes it a masterpiece.

Excerpt from review by Jonathan Rosenbaum of the Chicago Reader located HERE

Poster

Theatrical Release: May 1997 (Cannes Film Festival)

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DVD Comparison:

Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL vs. Criterion (Spine number 45) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Henrik Sylow for all the Screen Caps!

(Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. Criterion (Spine number 45) - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Artificial Eye

Region 2 - PAL

Criterion
Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 1:35:12 (4% PAL speedup) 1:39:20
Video

1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.56 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.40 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Artificial Eye

 

Bitrate:

 

Criterion (Spine number 45)

 

Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital Farsi

2.0 Dolby Digital Farsi Mono

Subtitles English, None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Artificial Eye

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.66:1

Edition Details:
• Trailer (0:49 / 4:3)
• Abbas Kiarostami biography
• 10 on Ten (1:23:20 / 4:3)

DVD Release Date: May 23, 2005
Double Amarey

Chapters 11
 

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.66:1

Edition Details:
• 3 page folded insert with liner notes by Godfrey Cheshire
• Rare interview with Abbas Kiarostami by Iranian film scholar Dr. Jamsheed Akrami (18:40 / 4:3)
• Trailer (1:16 / 4:3)
• Filmography
• Colour bars

 

DVD Release Date: June 8, 1999
Amarey

Chapters 14

 

Comments Taking from the Mk2 source, the Artificial Eye transfer is simply superb. Presented in original aspect ration of 1.66:1, it displays a great color balance and good details. Some scenes do show halos and edge enhancements, but in general artifacts are very limited.

The Criterion transfer has a different color palette thru a warm brown / orange filter, which appears to have been removed from the Mk2 source, and has been slightly boosted in contrast. While the Criterion image also has the AR of 1.66, it is cropped approx 7px right (1%), approx 17px bottom (2,4%) and 5px top (0,7%).

However for a non-anamorphic DVD5 image, the Criterion image is surprisingly good. While the Mk2 / Artificial Eye is lesser "grainy", displays better details (the Criterion is very pixelated), there is a minimum of edge enhancements.

Criterion has a great interview with Kiarostami, where he talks about censorship, how his films were received in the west and about his style. Artificial Eye has instead the masterclass documentary "10 on Ten", where Kiarostami talks of filmmaking (In Farsi with English voice-over translation.)

 - Henrik Sylow

 

 



DVD Menus

(Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. Criterion (Spine number 45) - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Criterion (Spine number 45) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)
subtitle sample
PAL captures resized to 720px from 1016px

 


(Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Criterion (Spine number 45) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)


(Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Criterion (Spine number 45) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Criterion (Spine number 45) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Criterion (Spine number 45) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Criterion (Spine number 45) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Criterion (Spine number 45) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


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Image:

Artificial Eye

Sound:

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Extras: Artificial Eye
Menu: Artificial Eye

 
DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Artificial Eye

Region 2 - PAL

Criterion
Region 0 - NTSC

 




 

 

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