Monthly Archives

August 2011

by Tina Hassannia Retrospective Film

The Report | Abbas Kiarostami

August 22, 2011
the-report

Ostensibly beyond Abbas Kiarostami’s typical terrain—particularly because of its complete lack of optimism—The Report feels like a puzzle piece from another game, if only at first. With the exception of its well-known domestic abuse scene, this cold, embittered “report” on Iranian life circa 1977 is less interested in overt depravity than it is in the revelatory comments and gestures of periphery characters, which signify a deeper intersection of attitudes and morals (this also reminds the viewer that they are, indeed, watching…

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by Tina Hassannia Retrospective Film

A Suit for Wedding | Abbas Kiarostami

August 22, 2011
A Suit for Wedding

Despite its perfectly befitting narrative set-up, and however enjoyable it is to watch, Abbas Kiarostami’s A Suit for Wedding doesn’t entirely live up to its potential. Three working-class apprentices secretly “borrow” an expensive suit from the tailor shop that employs one of the boys. There is some (heated) debate about who will wear the suit for the night. The next morning, a mad scramble ensues to return the suit in one piece before the boss shows up. This mid-’70s minor work…

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by Jordan Cronk Retrospective Film

The Traveler | Abbas Kiarostami

August 22, 2011
The Traveler

Future Iranian arthouse figurehead Abbas Kiarostami arrived in 1974 not only with his first feature-length film, but also a set of stylistic and thematic inclinations he’d spend the better part of three decades refining and expanding upon. It wasn’t until this year’s very different yet equally noteworthy Certified Copy that Kiarostami largely broke away from the distinguishing, highly influential stylistic conceits that had marked a majority of his narrative work from the beginning of his career. This makes the neo-realist inspired…

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by Tina Hassannia Retrospective Film

The Experience | Abbas Kiarostami

August 22, 2011
The Experience

The Experience is far removed from what most consider Abbas Kiarostami’s feature debut, The Traveller, despite preceding it by only one year. It shows the director’s potential even within a short narrative (just over 50 minutes), and is more complex than his two previous shorts. In a curiously amusing way befitting Kiarostami, The Experience has been ill-fittingly described as a “love melodrama,” when in fact it’s a fairly obvious subversion of a sub-genre famous in Iranian cinema: the poor-boy-falls-for-rich-girl movie. Its protagonist, Mamad,…

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by Tina Hassannia Retrospective Film

Homework | Abbas Kiarostami

August 22, 2011
Homework

Abbas Kiarostami has never been shy of image manipulation in his documentary films. One almost hesitates to call Close Up a documentary, for instance, because of this manipulation, since no one can truly understand how much has been restaged or “acted” and how much should be taken as truth. Certain dubious scenes in Close Up—namely, Sabzian’s trial—pose more philosophical questions about the entire cinematic exercise than they answer, which is partially why the film is ultimately rewarding. Kiarostami’s post-Revolution preoccupation with…

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by Simon Abrams by Steve Carlson Podcasts

Bad Idea Podcast | Episode 6

August 22, 2011
BIP6

#6: O Captain, Not My Captain: Cinema’s Anti-American Captain Americas Download episode here. Episode Description: What’s on tap for this month? Anti-Americanism! Or at least a version therein, as Simon & Steve discover that an iconic superhero on the page has invariably seemed a lot less iconic when rendered in live action. Not that anyone could remain iconic when Albert Pyun or…

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