Certified Copy


Juliette Binoche in <em>Certified Copy</em>

Certified Copy, which opens on a lecture consigning the concept of originality in art to the Academy of the Overrated, is an awesomely playful intellectual romance (or is it a farce?) from the great Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami. When I say playful, I mean confounding in the manner of Last Year at Marienbad, which basically dared viewers to say which competing, contradictory story threads represented real events in the film’s world. I mean bewildering in the style of Bunuel’s That Obscure Object of Desire, which had two different actresses playing a single character. And when I say that, what I really mean is that it’s a bracingly reflexive exercise that flouts basic rules of narrative cinema and manages to come out ahead of the game.

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Doug Aitken: sleepwalkers (2007)


If you find yourself walking through midtown Manhattan after dark during the next month, I’d encourage you to take a detour into the sculpture garden behind the Museum of Modern Art (enter from 54th Street), where a number of short films made by Doug Aitken are being projected simultaneously onto various glass facades of the building from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. every night through February 12. (There’s also a projection on the front wall of the museum, on 53rd Street, and another on the wall of the nearby American Museum of Folk Art.) The project is known as Doug Aitken: sleepwalkers.

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