Daily Archives

September 5, 2011

by Tina Hassannia Retrospective Film

Life, and Nothing More… | Abbas Kiarostami

September 5, 2011
Life and Nothing More

When Abbas Kiarostami made Where Is the Friend’s Home?, he had no intention of making a trilogy. But his next two films, Life, and Nothing More… and Through the Olive Trees, were coined as such by critics; each exists as a fiction film within the other, and all are centered around the village of Koker. Friend’s Home is treated as a fiction within the world of Life, while a scene from Life is seen being filmed in Olive Trees. The ‘Koker Trilogy’ tag stuck,…

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by Tina Hassannia Retrospective Film

Through the Olive Trees | Abbas Kiarostami

September 5, 2011

Abbas Kiarostami has mostly stayed away from love stories—he tends to find it impossible in his films to recreate situations that even remotely hint at intimacy, his art being so closely monitored by authorities whose conservative religious values disallow any such representation. Through the Olive Trees is the closest we get to lust and young love in Kiarostami’s oeuvre, but its erotic power is frequently overlooked by Western critics—it has to be subtle. The film immediately distinguishes itself as being something different from the…

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by Tina Hassannia Retrospective Film

Where Is the Friend’s Home? | Abbas Kiarostami

September 5, 2011
Where Is the Friend's Home

The Iranian cinema is abundant with films about children (The White Balloon and Children of Heaven being the two classic popular examples). Where Is the Friend’s Home? in many respects began the trend of Iranian child-themed films and is the most culturally significant to date for a number of reasons. Foremost, it was the first film in a few decades to garner attention outside Iran. It is ostensibly a neorealist film in the style of Bicycle Thieves: a young boy must return…

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by Calum Marsh Retrospective Film

Taste of Cherry | Abbas Kiarostami

September 5, 2011
Taste of Cherry

Part of the appeal of a film like Taste of Cherry—Kiarostami’s minimalist masterpiece, all white-canvas stretches of silence and inaction—lies in its openness to interpretation, in how it invites us to invest meaning in it rather than simply extract the meaning imposed upon it. Minimalism is about encouraging reflection, on form and content both, but Taste of Cherry in particular betrays a deeper understanding of self-reflexivity: its languid pace and elliptical narrative function not only to underscore the passing of time…

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by Calum Marsh Retrospective Film

Close Up | Abbas Kiarostami

September 5, 2011
Close Up

Whether a film does or does not present the truth seems considerably less important to us than whether or not it intends to do so. That is, we don’t really care whether a movie is based in fact or based in fiction so much as whether it’s explicitly presented to us as fact or as fiction. We assume that a film will be true to its intentions, or that it will cohere with our idea of the reality which informs it.…

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by Kathie Smith Retrospective Film

The Wind Will Carry Us | Abbas Kiarostami

September 5, 2011
The Wind Will Carry Us

In retrospect, Abbas Kiarostami’s The Wind Will Carry Us represents the calm before a contentious political decade between Iran and the U.S., one that dragged filmmakers into the fray. Two years after the film’s American release, George Bush named Iran part of an “Axis of Evil” and Kiarostami was denied a visa to the U.S. (and, one year after its release in the States, fellow Iranian director Jafar Panahi was man-handled at JFK). A reformed Iranian government quickly collapsed under conservative forces,…

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