Film Review : 24 Frames


Montreal is welcoming the latest addition to it’s cinema family, Cinema Moderne: located in Mile End, and born just this year on September 17th 2018. When walking through its doors, there is an irrepressible feeling of a dream coming into reality. The cinema is comprised of a 50+ seat theatre with a bistro and bar, with promises of many cultural events to come. The cinema’s mission is inclusive and innovative, with an aim to incorporate series into their programming featuring directors from indigenous populations, women and local artists.

Their mission also includes the integration of family friendly events, in hopes to make this cinema accessible to all. The theatre is exciting, new and above all, “moderne”. There seems to be endless possibilities emerging from the space, and I am personally looking forward to their future programming. Last Saturday I saw Abbas Kiarostami’s latest and final work, a meditative and minimalistic piece that seemed to counterbalance the roaring new cinema.
24 Frames is the last work of the irreplaceable cinema auteur Abbas Kiarostami. With it, he leaves the audience with his last expression, a few frames that perhaps summarize the intent of his career and of his minimalistic style.
​The film begins with an excerpt explaining the concept of his film. Kiarostami was fascinated by the idea that a painter can only capture one moment in their work.  His curiosity then lead him to wonder, what happened just seconds before or after this moment. It is with this speculation that the director began creating his film. Drawing from his past photographic works, Kiarostami used animation to bring these stills to life and to express what could have happened if mere seconds had passed.
​All the scenes have a sense of playfulness to them, as if we were exploring the thought process of the director’s mind. It is almost as if there is a dialogue throughout the film, as invisible as one’s own thoughts, but still deeply present. This film is yet another example of the most prominent theme of his work, the concept of the creation of reality. Here, he creates a reality based in the real world and then heightens it with the hand of imagination and computer animation.
​With great sadness, with the completion of this film, we realize that we have lost a great artist. The final frame is in fact the last one gifted to us, but there remains a comfort in his enormous body of work. He was a true artist, and up until his last days was re-creating his vision in a new, innovative style. He gave us one more reason to be grateful for the work he has given us.