Daily Archives

September 25, 2011

by Daniel Gorman Retrospective Film

Ten | Abbas Kiarostami

September 25, 2011
Ten

In an interview with Jonathan Rosenbaum and Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa, Abbas Kiarostami recited a verse from the poet Rumi: “You are my polo ball, running before the stick of my command. I am always running after you, though it is I who make you move.” It’s easy to see why Kiarostami would be attracted to such a sentiment; his own directorial methods illustrate precisely such a poetic contradiction. The dialectic between documentary realism and the mediating hand of the filmmaker is…

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by Calum Marsh Retrospective Film

Certified Copy | Abbas Kiarostami

September 25, 2011
Certified Copy

To engage with something critically is to assume, despite any post-structural handwringing, that the works with which we’re engaged contain some essential truth. That’s the conceit of all criticism: beyond projections of the reader, the personal prisms through which X looks like Y and vice versa, we’re required to expect, or at the very least hope, that art has meaning and that this meaning is fixed. This assumption is useful in so far as it transforms speculation into interpretation, an act which commands authority. And it’s…

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by Tina Hassannia Retrospective Film

Shirin | Abbas Kiarostami

September 25, 2011
Shirin

You’re not allowed to know the Iranian Woman. Not truly, anyway—not personally, and don’t even think about intimately. Not in public. In public, you must treat her with “respect,” which apparently means pretending she doesn’t exist—you mustn’t make eye contact. As a female tourist in Iran, you spend all your hours outside, walking, breathing pollution, baking in the sun and avoiding half the population because they happen to be of the other gender. It takes some getting used to, to say the least. Then…

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by Daniel Gorman Retrospective Film

10 on Ten | Abbas Kiarostami

September 25, 2011
10 on Ten

There’s at least a few reasons for the near total lack of critical interest in Abbas Kiarostami’s 10 on Ten, not the least of which is its near unclassifiable nature. It’s not quite an essay film, at least not in the Chris Marker sense, although it does take the form of a personal lecture. It’s not exactly a documentary, but it does consist entirely of Kiarostami talking candidly about his films and his philosophy. Having said that, it’s not a philosophical…

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by Kenji Fujishima Retrospective Film

Five Dedicated to Ozu | Abbas Kiarostami

September 25, 2011
Five Dedicated to Ozu

Even in his earlier, more relatively conventional films, Abbas Kiarostami always maintained an eye for radical formal experimentation. Close Up, for instance, is as much a meditation on the possibilities of fiction in capturing reality as it is a moving docudrama about an ordinary man so enraptured by art that he dares to impersonate one of his filmmaking idols. And though Taste of Cherry and The Wind Will Carry Us certainly don’t lack in human interest, both are also just as noteworthy…

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by Brendan Peterson Retrospective Film

ABC Africa | Abbas Kiarostami

September 25, 2011
ABC Africa

In 2001, at the request of the United Nations, Abbas Kiarostami traveled to Africa to scout locations and shoot raw footage for a film focussing on the lives of Ugandan orphans. His previous experience working with children made him the perfect candidate to work with these new subjects, and arming himself with a digital video camera, he recorded ten days of footage, capturing the harsh realities and amazing strengths of a people struggling to survive in a world with little…

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