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Taste of Cherry ( Ta'm e guilass ) [1998] [DVD]

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Homayoun Ershadi, Abdolrahman Bagheri, Afshin Khorshid Bakhtiari, Safar Ali Moradi, Mir Hossein Noori
  • Directors: Abbas Kiarostami
  • Writers: Abbas Kiarostami
  • Producers: Abbas Kiarostami, Alain Depardieu
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Farsi
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: AV Channel
  • DVD Release Date: 19 Dec. 2005
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 55,063 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Australia released, PAL/Region 0 DVD: LANGUAGES: Farsi ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), English ( Subtitles ), ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN (1.85:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Interactive Menu, Scene Access, Trailer(s), SYNOPSIS: Co-winner of the Palme d'Or at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival, The Taste of Cherry is the venerable Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami's examination of life, death and the small miracles in between. Homayoun Ershadi stars as Mr. Badii, a middle-aged man wishing to kill himself; driving his Range Rover across the arid outskirts of Tehran, he searches for someone to aid him in his final hours, someone who will agree to bury his body if he succeeds in his mission -- a planned overdose of sleeping pills -- or rescue him if he fails. Offering a large sum of money in exchange for services rendered, he first picks up a Kurdish soldier who ultimately flees in fear upon learning of Badii's plan; the next passenger, an Afghani seminary student, instead attempts to convince him of the sanctity of human life. Finally, Badii picks up a Turkish taxidermist who reluctantly agrees to check the body for signs of life; having long ago contemplated suicide himself, the taxidermist also tries to dissuade Badii from ending it all, accepting the offer only because he needs the money to care for his sick daughter. Kiarostami's refusal to answer the film's two most obvious questions -- exactly why does Mr. Badii wish to end his life, and does he successfully carry out his plan? -- invites viewers to share in his protagonist's plight by triggering their own powers of imagination. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: Cannes Film Festival, ...A Taste of Cherry ( Ta'm e guilass ) ( Le Goût de la cerise )

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Room for a View VINE VOICE on 14 Jun. 2008
Format: DVD
Ershadi is mesmerising as a man intent on finding someone to shovel earth into a shallow pit! I was captivated by this man's journey as he picks up a soldier, talks to a man collecting plastic bags, meets an Afghan security guard and his friend, and, finally a taxidermist who talks about eating mulberries whilst attempting to tie a noose to a tree branch. The cinematography is beautiful, particularly the beam of a car's headlights as it weaves it way around a winding road. There is much that is left unexplained in this film, but, for me, this adds to the solemn pace and sad inevitability of the film.
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Format: DVD
The 1998 Palmed or winner at Cannes is a philosophical treatise about mortality and a cinematic discussion about the role of politics and religion in everyday life by a very enlightened mind called ABBAS KIAROSTAMI ,a righteously celebrated cinematic magician who weaves wisdom out of vast empty frames of the iranian vistas in the suburban dusty hills of Teheran .
We proceed on a cruise in a Range Rover in the arid sinister suburbs of Teheran with BIDAI [ARSHADI ],He is intent on recruiting an accomplice who can help him commit suicide which he wants to label as an unintentional death to escape his own responsibility in the moral dilemma .

The idea is menacing and ingenious and it forms the crux of his conversations with the three men he picks up as he cruises around his future grave and propositions them with a tempting fiscal offer to be an accomplice .

The Islamic ideology of suicide being totally forbidden is discussed here in context to what rights does a human being possess,if your ego is not satisfied with your existence itself then what justification arises for juxtaposing a wasted negative existence over the rest of humanity .

Abbas has dealt with the crucial universal eternal dilemma and theosophical discussion immaculately as he throws his three protagonists into an abyss filled with dusty roads and earthen mountains being metaphorically shifted by huge man made cranes -the three other characters who constitute the would be accomplices are picked randomly from the fringes of a suffering social milieu where humanity is both absolved of its sins and yet the spirit is redeemed in its glory of painful existence .
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Format: DVD
When discussing Iranian cinema, one generally feels compelled to fall back on a combination of superlative gibbering and trite clichés. This is particularly true when evaluating the work of director Abbas Kiarostami, with many critics over-using words like deep, meditative, thoughtful and transcendent. Certainly, those particular platitudes can be labelled at much of Kiarostami's work, particularly Homework, ...And Life Goes On and Under the Olive Trees, however, I felt that this film was really trying too hard to live up to words like tranquil, hypnotic, pensive and so on, but instead, came across more like a film student's attempt to pastiche the style of European art cinema. To me, the film seems a little stilted, and I suppose a label like pretentious might, just this once, be entirely accurate.
The film adopts throughout an almost Bergmanesque stance on the idea of life and death (I see this film as something of a companion piece to Bergman's far superior Wild Strawberries) with the central character setting out on an odyssey of self-discover that may, perhaps, lead him to the ultimate in self-destruction. So, in some respects, I suppose the film could be seen as a road movie, albeit, a road-movie in the European (art-cinema) tradition... owing more to films like the aforementioned Wild Strawberries and Wim Wenders' Kings of the Road than something like Thelma and Louise or Driving Miss Daisy (although, having said that, I guess you could make a mental link between the allusions of the journey of a life and the idea of life lessons being passed on between driver and passenger to the themes and characteristics of the previously noted Jessica Tandy vehicle).
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