Abbas Kiarostami

Why we should know Kiarostami?

Tehran, July 18, IRNA – On July 10, several thousands of cinema lovers bid farewell to internationally acclaimed film director Abbas Kiarostami in north of Tehran, whose films served as an introduction to Iran’s vibrant cinema industry to movie lovers from all over the world.

Following his death in Paris, a tsunami of headlines from the media and social networks throughout the world followed Kiarostami’s demise. People in different languages expressed their profound sadness over the loss of this unforgettable auteur.

“Thank you for paving the tough road of globalization for Iranian cinema,” director Asghar Farhadi – whose “A Separation” won the country’s only Academy Award to date in 2012 – told a morning memorial service.

Emerged from the Iranian New Wave of the late 1960s, a Persian cinema movement that started in the late 1960s and includes pioneering directors such as Masoud Kimiai, Sohrab Shahid Saless, Dariush Mehrjui, Bahram Beyzai, Nasser Taghvai and Parviz Kimiavi, the multi-dimensional artist, Kiarostami, also was the ambassador of a vibrant cultural scene who adopted the attitude of success by seeing obstacles as opportunities.

**Progress despite restrictions:

He was mature enough to progress despite all the restrictions and his movies lured global audience. His non-stop soul was beyond the boundaries of place and time.

As many acclaimed international film critics have pointed out, Kiarostami created a method in making films based on minimalism to express profound humane concepts with a political flavor which was at odds with the style of filmmaking in Hollywood.

With his method, Kiarostami found global audiences and was granted numerous awards above which the prestigious Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival in 1997 for his film ‘Taste of Cherry’.

Master of long shots and long takes, Kiarostami’s films contain a notable degree of ambiguity, an unusual mixture of simplicity and complexity, and often a mix of fictional and documentary elements. He has stated, ‘We can never get close to the truth except through lying.’

According to media reports, Kiarostami is one of the world’s great directors. In such ground-breaking works as Close-Up, The Wind Will Carry Us and his Ten, the Iranian master has pioneered a cinema of revolutionary simplicity. He strips away the artifice of the movies, leaving only a diamond-hard essence. In Ten, he uses just two camera positions and one location – the inside of a car – yet the film seems to contain all of human existence.

The boundary between fiction and non-fiction is significantly reduced in Kiarostami’s cinema.

The French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy, writing about Kiarostami, and in particular ‘Life and Nothing More…’, has argued that his films are neither fiction nor documentary. ‘Life and Nothing More…,’ he argues, is neither representation nor reportage, but rather ‘evidence’.

** Multi-Talented Auteur

The screenwriter, film editor, art director, producer, photographer, painter, illustrator, and graphic designer, Kiarostami was also a poet, which this aspect of his personality was neglected to the public.

The multi-talented auteur, Kiarostami, has a number of books in his career as well including ‘Kiarostami on Hafez’ (2006) about the legendary Iranian poet Hafez-e Shirazi and ‘The Book of Fire’ which was about the Divan of Shams released in 2011.

Kiarostami says the excerpts he selected from Rumi’s Divan of Shams and published in his recent book are like text messages he sends to readers.

Meanwhile the prominent scholar and Hafez expert Bahaeddin Khorramshahi also endorsed ‘Kiarostami on Hafez’ book.

** Multi-Dimensional Artist

A bilingual collection of more than 200 of his poems, ‘Walking with the Wind’, was published by Harvard University Press. His photographic work includes Untitled Photographs, a collection of over thirty photographs, mostly of snow landscapes, taken in his hometown Tehran, between 1978 and 2003.

Kiarostami also produced Mozart’s opera, Così fan tutte, which premiered in Aix-en-Provence in 2003 before being performed at the English National Opera in London in 2004.

Meanwhile, the artworks of late Kiarostami also were sold at Christie’s Dubai evening auctions of Modern & ContemporaryArab, Iranian & Turkish Art on October 21, 2014.

Now at the end we probably ask ourselves why we should know Kiarostami? It is worth mentioning that Kiarostami was one of the most important ambassadors of contemporary Iranian culture and civilization. He was an artist and a poet emerged from Iranian art and culture and also an indication that Iranian thought cannot be neglected across the globe.