When I first read about Abbas Kiarostami's Five (aka Five dedicated to Ozu) after it's 2004 Cannes screening, I thought, "Ooo, Kiarostami made a film for me!" From what I have read, Five is a 75 minute film divided into five segments of visual meditation. In another sad tale of waiting for a film that never arrives, I gave up on ever seeing this film a year ago. What a difference a year makes. MOMA has a film retrospective of Kiarostami's films (including a screening of Five) and a multi-channel installation version of Five in the gallery, and MK2 just released Five on DVD in France with English subtitles (although I'm not sure what there is to subtitle, as the film reportedly has no dialogue.)
I have Jonathan Rosenbaum to thank for this discovery. Rosenbaum his to be the most obsessive of DVD diggers, finding gems from all over the world. He reports his findings not only on the Chicago Readers blog, but in his column "Global Discoveries on DVD" in each issue of CinemaScope. My first quick scan of the Spring issue of CinemaScope (cover Paul Verhoeven!) quickly found Five in Rosenbaum's column. Little did I know, this DVD came out in at the end of December in France. As mentioned, the DVD includes English subtitles, which French DVDs are notorious for not having. (France is a treasure trove of fantastic DVD editions with no English subs.) I'm not sure what to expect, but I can't help to feel some fateful anticipation in reading Mr. Rosembaum's notion that Five's "ideal venue is in fact on a DVD player at home, with a good sound system, not a movie theater or a museum, where being a part of an audience only becomes a distraction." I will light the candles and get ready to lock my doors in anticipation of the arrival of my DVD via alapage.