Shirin Mahtab Keratami, Golshifteh Farahani, Mahnaz Afshar, Juliette Binoche Director: Abbas Kiarostami Having spent the past decade making films that ask audiences to complete the picture themselves - see the unseen speakers in the conversations driving 2002's Ten, and the static, tableaux-like shots that shape 2004's Five - Abbas Kiarostami's latest film is perhaps his most radical in making viewers active agents in the process of generating meaning. Shirin revolves around the tumultuous courtship between the titular Armenian princess and Persian king Khosrow. But the story never really materialises on screen. Instead, Kiarostami shows a stream of close-ups of women seated in what looks like a darkened cinema and seemingly reacting to the unfolding story. Viewers can only make sense of the story by listening to the soundtrack, which includes dialogue, music and audio tidbits suggesting the action in play. While it hardly reads like an appealing premise on paper, Shirin presents a surprisingly riveting viewing experience. To look at the film as a piece about how people watch films is to underestimate Shirin's possibilities. It forces viewers to reflect on the fast-fading power of moving images on cinema screens. It's ironic that it's actually best to watch Shirin in a theatre rather than on the small screen. Kiarostami celebrates actors' ability to conjure intense, human emotions out of nearly nothing - the cast of Shirin are merely looking at a camera and drawing on personal memories. (They don't even know they are 'watching' a film about Shirin and Khosrow; Kiarostami only decided this later.) A test for himself, his actors and audiences, Shirin is a daring and poetic exercise. Extras: Taste of Shirin, a making-of documentary; essays.