24 Frames is the final, posthumously completed film by Iranian master Abbas Kiarostami (1940-2016), a filmmaker who “represents the highest level of artistry in the cinema,” in the words of Martin Scorsese. Beginning with a digital reproduction of Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s iconic 1565 painting The Hunters in the Snow, 24 Frames progresses across a series of twenty-three additional sequences that reconstruct the moments before and after a single still image. Most depict stark landscapes featuring only foraging birds or other wildlife, with the filmmaker adding digital animation to his still-image sources. In effect, Kiarostami highlights the limitations of traditional genre painting and still photography alike, calling our attention to the much larger world that the artwork conceals. That Kiarostami does so by experimenting with digital animation ensures that his final film marks a bold new direction for the perpetually inventive creator of Close-Up and Taste of Cherry.
This series is presented as part of Kiarostami: Beyond the Frame, in memory of Jeanne Hoffman Smith and in partnership with Janus Films.