T. alt.: The Elements. Scen.: Ebrahim Golestan. F.: Soleiman Minassian. M.: Ebrahim Golestan. Mus.: Morteza Hannaneh. Int.: Brian Spooner (voce narrante inglese), Ebrahim Golestan (voce narrante persiana). Prod.: Golestan Film Studio
A 3,000-year-old site in the north of Iran is simultaneously excavated by archaeologists and fertilized by farmers. Another example of Golestan’s documentary work about classical elements, in which the past touches the present, and there is a clear continuity among the forms of human life detected by the camera, as it breathes life into dead objects.
While watching the film, it’s impossible not to recall Les Statues meurent aussi (1953), with both films drawing converging lines between man, art, and death, and sharing a both poetic and political approach to history. Technically, it appears that Golestan has adopted some of the ways in which the Marker/Resnais/Cloquet team detach statues and other objects from their surroundings, to display them against a purely cinematic black background, giving the statues the sense of volume they need. Golestan pays scrupulous attention to sound, as quite often the music – an excellent contribution by Morteza Hannaneh, one of the most serious Iranian composers of his era – goes silent in order to amplify the sound of brushes caressing a broken piece of pottery.
Da: University of Chicago Film Studies Center