One of the miracles of cinema is that genuine artists can use the medium to convey otherwise inexpressible, even intangible emotions, using image and sound to create emotional landscapes that in writing might be too explicit or in music too oblique.
The plot of The Treasure revolves around people digging for riches in a backyard, lacking the means for more expansive adventures, and much of its humor derives from watching grown men bring their adult self-seriousness and anxiety to what is essentially a childhood pastime.
Son of Saul’s insistence on real-time tension means that it’s deliberately cut off from considerations of the bigger picture; what it theoretically gains in trade is a sense of authenticity, which becomes increasingly presumptuous in light of its heavy-handed storytelling and basic lack of dramatic believability.
Synopsized, The Lobster might sound like high-concept science-fiction—a bit of Logan’s Run, a touch of Fahrenheit 451. And after a fashion it is, though there are no jumpsuits, moon boots, retinal scans, plasma cannons, or any other such trappings.
Taxi interrogates itself—as cinema, as document, and, because of Panahi’s particular political reality, as an expression of artistic freedom. Panahi has taken to a purposeful extreme the notion that strictures and limitations are beneficial to the creation of art.