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Abbas Kiarostami

by InRO Staff Feature Articles Film Year in Review

Top 20 Films of 2018

December 29, 2018
jack2.0

Toxic masculinity had a year; scan the top three titles on this list and you’ll find three films about self-involved men belaboring the value of ‘their art’ — made by three self-involved men belaboring the value of their art. That may seem like a dispiriting regression, especially considering where we were as a culture like 24 months ago, and in many ways 2018 has been a backslide of a year. But take a closer look at those three films —…

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by InRO Staff Feature Articles Film Year in Review

Top 10 Films of 2018 (So Far)

July 10, 2018
HalftimeFilm

Yesterday, we presented our Top 10 Albums of the Year (So Far). Today, we do the same for film — which also gives us the chance to offer takes on some films that haven’t been covered in our regular Blockbuster Beat reviews. (In fact, not a single “blockbuster” made the list, unless you count that dog movie we failed to review during its release.) Generally speaking, our best films of 2018 are actually from 2017: festival premieres from Toronto, Cannes, Sundance, etc. that took…

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by Tina Hassannia Feature Articles Film

Retrospective | Abbas Kiarostami (1940-2016)

July 6, 2016
Kiarostami

Originally published August 15th, 2011 One of the most important filmmakers of the last 30 years emerged from a country famous for its brutal censorship, a nation that forces many artists to take up residence elsewhere if they wish to freely pursue their craft or, in some cases, even if they just want to stay alive. These unfortunate conditions turned out to be serendipitous for Abbas Kiarostami…

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by InRO Staff Feature Articles Film Year in Review

Top 20 Films of 2013

December 31, 2013
2013top

For a while, it seemed like 2013 had front-loaded its highlights; many films making our Top 20 either played the festival circuit in 2012 before finally getting their official theatrical runs Stateside (Like Someone in Love, Frances Ha, and our top pick) or they premiered in May of this year at the Cannes Film Festival (Inside Llewyn Davis, Blue Is the Warmest Color).…

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by Daniel Gorman Retrospective

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

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

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

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

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

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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by Tina Hassannia Retrospective

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

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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