Taste of Cherry is a minimalist film consisting almost entirely of a man driving about trying to find someone who’ll agree to bury him after he commits suicide. What’s immediately clear is that Taste of Cherry is an exercise in narrative form, deliberately distancing the viewer from the action and letting us listen to conversations without showing us the speakers.
It feels so slight yet, as with most movies of this kind, it is not about the destination but the journey itself. The interesting people we meet along this drive around a quarry in Iran are more than compelling subjects, not because they are interesting, but because they are the opposite: real, mundane, existing. They tell us about our world even if they don’t tell us anything profound themselves.
Whilst this exercise in style and form is interesting (reaching its crescendo in the puzzling Brechtian sequence at the very end), Taste of Cherry does seem a little mystifying and perhaps too vague to really stick with me. It’s a film I respect and one I think plenty of people will unequivocally love but I just found it a quiet, little movie which made me think even if I didn’t get much more out of it.
The new Blu-Ray disc adds to the previous 18-minute interview with Abbas Kiarostami, new interview with Iranian film scholar Hamid Naficy, the featurette Kiarostami’s Landscapes and Kiarostami’s sketch film for Taste of Cherry. The booklet includes an essay by A.S. Hamrah.