|Who is it?||Director, Writer, Editor|
|Birth Day||June 22, 1940|
|Birth Place||Tehran, Iran, Iran|
|Age||80 YEARS OLD|
|Died On||4 July 2016(2016-07-04) (aged 76)\nParis, France|
|Native name||عباس کیارستمی|
|Burial place||Tok Mazra'e Cemetery, Lavasan, Shemiranat, Iran|
|Alma mater||University of Tehran|
|Occupation||Film director, screenwriter, photographer, producer, painter, poet|
|Notable work||Where Is the Friend's Home? Close-Up Through the Olive Trees Taste of Cherry The Wind Will Carry Us|
|Style||Documentary, minimalist, Poetry film|
|Spouse(s)||Parvin Amir-Gholi (m. 1969–1982)|
|Children||Ahmad (b. 1971) Bahman (b. 1978)|
|Parent(s)||Ahmad Kiarostami Zahra Kiarostami|
Bread and Alley was my first experience in cinema and I must say a very difficult one. I had to work with a very young child, a dog, and an unprofessional crew except for the cinematographer, who was nagging and complaining all the time. Well, the cinematographer, in a sense, was right because I did not follow the conventions of film making that he had become accustomed to.
As a Painter, designer, and Illustrator, Kiarostami worked in advertising in the 1960s, designing posters and creating commercials. Between 1962 and 1966, he shot around 150 advertisements for Iranian television. In the late 1960s, he began creating credit titles for films (including Gheysar by Masoud Kimiai) and illustrating children's books.
In 1969, Kiarostami married Parvin Amir-Gholi. They had two sons, Ahmad (born 1971) and Bahman (1978). They divorced in 1982.
During the filming of The Bread and Alley in 1970, Kiarostami had major differences with his experienced Cinematographer about how to film the boy and the attacking dog. While the Cinematographer wanted separate shots of the boy approaching, a close-up of his hand as he enters the house and closes the door, followed by a shot of the dog, Kiarostami believed that if the three scenes could be captured as a whole it would have a more profound impact in creating tension over the situation. That one shot took around forty days to complete, until Kiarostami was fully content with the scene. Kiarostami later commented that the breaking of scenes would have disrupted the rhythm and content of the film's structure, preferring to let the scene flow as one.
Following The Experience (1973), Kiarostami released The Traveler (Mossafer) in 1974. The Traveler tells the story of Qassem Julayi, a troubled and troublesome boy from a small Iranian city. Intent on attending a football match in far-off Tehran, he scams his friends and neighbors to raise money, and journeys to the stadium in time for the game, only to meet with an ironic twist of fate. In addressing the boy's determination to reach his goal, alongside his indifference to the effects of his amoral actions, the film examined human behavior and the balance of right and wrong. It furthered Kiarostami's reputation for realism, diegetic simplicity, and stylistic complexity, as well as his fascination with physical and spiritual journeys.
In 1975, Kiarostami directed two short films So Can I and Two Solutions for One Problem. In early 1976, he released Colors, followed by the fifty-four-minute film A Wedding Suit, a story about three teenagers coming into conflict over a suit for a wedding.
Kiarostami's first feature film was the 112-minute Report (1977). It revolved around the life of a tax collector accused of accepting bribes; suicide was among its themes. In 1979, he produced and directed First Case, Second Case.
Kiarostami was a noted Photographer and poet. 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. In 1999, He also published a collection of his poems. 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.
Kiarostami was one of the few Directors who remained in Iran after the 1979 revolution, when many of his peers fled the country. He believes that it was one of the most important decisions of his career. His permanent base in Iran and his national identity have consolidated his ability as a filmmaker:
In the early 1980s, Kiarostami directed several short films including Toothache (1980), Orderly or Disorderly (1981), and The Chorus (1982). In 1983, he directed Fellow Citizen. It was not until his release of Where Is the Friend's Home? that he began to gain recognition outside Iran.These films created the basis of his later productions.
Other representatives include the Venice Film Festival in 1985, the Locarno International Film Festival in 1990, the San Sebastian International Film Festival in 1996, the São Paulo International Film Festival in 2004, the Capalbio Cinema Festival in 2007 (in which he was President of the jury), and the Küstendorf Film and Music Festival in 2011. He also made regular appearances at many other film festivals across Europe, including the Estoril Film Festival in Portugal.
The concepts of change and continuity, in addition to the themes of life and death, play a major role in Kiarostami's works. In the Koker trilogy, these themes play a central role. As illustrated in the aftermath of the 1990 Tehran earthquake disaster, they also represent the power of human resilience to overcome and defy destruction.
In 1992, Kiarostami directed Life, and Nothing More..., regarded by critics as the second film of the Koker trilogy. The film follows a father and his young son as they drive from Tehran to Koker in search of two young boys who they fear might have perished in the 1990 earthquake. As the father and son travel through the devastated landscape, they meet earthquake survivors forced to carry on with their lives amid disaster. That year Kiarostami won a Prix Roberto Rossellini, the first professional film award of his career, for his direction of the film. The last film of the so-called Koker trilogy was Through the Olive Trees (1994), which expands a peripheral scene from Life and Nothing More into the central drama. Critics such as Adrian Martin have called the style of filmmaking in the Koker trilogy as "diagrammatical", linking the zig-zagging patterns in the landscape and the geometry of forces of life and the world. A flashback of the zigzag path in Life and Nothing More... (1992) in turn triggers the spectator's memory of the previous film, Where Is the Friend's Home? from 1987, shot before the earthquake. This symbolically links to the post-earthquake reconstruction in Through the Olive Trees in 1994. In 1995, Miramax Films released Through the Olive Trees in the US theaters.
Kiarostami was a jury member at numerous film festivals, most notably the Cannes Film Festival in 1993, 2002 and 2005. He was also the President of the Caméra d'Or Jury in Cannes Film Festival 2005. He was announced as the President of the Cinéfondation and short film sections of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.
Kiarostami next wrote the screenplays for The Journey and The White Balloon (1995), for his former assistant Jafar Panahi. Between 1995 and 1996, he was involved in the production of Lumière and Company, a collaboration with 40 other film Directors.
Kiarostami and his cinematic style have been the subject of several books and three films, Opening Day of Close-Up (1996), directed by Nanni Moretti, Abbas Kiarostami: The Art of Living (2003), directed by Fergus Daly, and Abbas Kiarostami: A Report (2014), directed by Bahman Maghsoudlou.
Kiarostami has received worldwide acclaim for his work from both audiences and critics, and, in 1999, he was voted the most important film Director of the 1990s by two international critics' polls. Four of his films were placed in the top six of Cinematheque Ontario's Best of the '90s poll. He has gained recognition from film theorists, critics, as well as peers such as Jean-Luc Godard, Nanni Moretti (who made a short film about opening one of Kiarostami's films in his theater in Rome), Chris Marker, and Ray Carney. Akira Kurosawa said of Kiarostami's films: "Words cannot describe my feelings about them ... When Satyajit Ray passed on, I was very depressed. But after seeing Kiarostami's films, I thanked God for giving us just the right person to take his place." Critically acclaimed Directors such as Martin Scorsese have commented that "Kiarostami represents the highest level of artistry in the cinema." The Austrian Director Michael Haneke has admired the work of Abbas Kiarostami as among the best of any living Director. In 2006, The Guardian's panel of critics ranked Kiarostami as the best contemporary non-American film Director.
Kiarostami has won the admiration of audiences and critics worldwide and received at least seventy awards up to the year 2000. Here are some representatives:
In 2001, Kiarostami and his assistant, Seifollah Samadian, traveled to Kampala, Uganda at the request of the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development, to film a documentary about programs assisting Ugandan orphans. He stayed for ten days and made ABC Africa. The trip was originally intended as a research in preparation for the filming, but Kiarostami ended up editing the entire film from the video footage shot there. The high number of orphans in Uganda has resulted from the deaths of parents in the AIDS epidemic.
In 2003, Kiarostami directed Five, a poetic feature with no dialogue or characterization. It consists of five long shots of nature which are single-take sequences, shot with a hand-held DV camera, along the shores of the Caspian Sea. Although the film lacks a clear storyline, Geoff Andrew argues that the film is "more than just pretty pictures". He adds, "Assembled in order, they comprise a kind of abstract or emotional narrative arc, which moves evocatively from separation and solitude to community, from motion to rest, near-silence to sound and song, light to darkness and back to light again, ending on a note of rebirth and regeneration."He notes the degree of artifice concealed behind the apparent simplicity of the imagery.
Kiarostami produced 10 on Ten (2004), a journal documentary that shares ten lessons on movie-making while he drives through the locations of his past films. The movie is shot on digital video with a stationary camera mounted inside the car, in a manner reminiscent of Taste of Cherry and Ten. In 2005 and 2006, he directed The Roads of Kiarostami, a 32-minute documentary that reflects on the power of landscape, combining austere black-and-white photographs with poetic observations, engaging music with political subject matter. Also in 2005, Kiarostami contributed the central section to Tickets, a portmanteau film set on a train traveling through Italy. The other segments were directed by Ken Loach and Ermanno Olmi.
In 2005, London Film School organized a workshop as well as festival of Kiarostami's work, titled "Abbas Kiarostami: Visions of the Artist". Ben Gibson, Director of the London Film School, said, "Very few people have the creative and intellectual clarity to invent cinema from its most basic elements, from the ground up. We are very lucky to have the chance to see a master like Kiarostami thinking on his feet."
In 2007, the Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 coorganized a festival of the Kiarostami's work titled Abbas Kiarostami: Image Maker.
In 2008, Kiarostami directed the feature Shirin, which features close-ups of many notable Iranian actresses and the French Actress Juliette Binoche as they watch a film based on a partly mythological Persian romance tale of Khosrow and Shirin, with themes of female self-sacrifice. The film has been described as "a compelling exploration of the relationship between image, sound and female spectatorship."
Certified Copy (2010), again starring Juliette Binoche, was made in Tuscany and was Kiarostami's first film to be shot and produced outside Iran. The story of an encounter between a British man and a French woman, it was entered in competition for the Palme d'Or in the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian describes the film as an "intriguing oddity", and said, "Certified Copy is the deconstructed portrait of a marriage, acted with well-intentioned fervour by Juliette Binoche, but persistently baffling, contrived, and often simply bizarre – a highbrow misfire of the most peculiar sort." He concluded that the film is "unmistakably an Example of Kiarostami's compositional technique, though not a successful Example." Roger Ebert, however, praised the film, noting that "Kiarostami is rather brilliant in the way he creates offscreen spaces." Binoche won the Best Actress Award at Cannes for her performance in the film. Kiarostami's pentultimate film, Like Someone in Love, set and shot in Japan, received largely positive reviews from critics.
Martin Scorsese said he was "deeply shocked and saddened" by the news. Oscar-winning Iranian film-maker Asghar Farhadi – who had been due to fly to Paris to visit his friend – said he was "very sad, in total shock". Mohsen Makhmalbaf echoed the sentiment, saying Iran's cinema owes its global reputation to his fellow Director, but that this visibility did not translate into a greater visibility for his work in his homeland. "Kiarostami gave the Iranian cinema the international credibility that it has today," he told The Guardian. "But his films were unfortunately not seen as much in Iran. He changed the world's cinema; he freshened it and humanised it in contrast with Hollywood's rough version." Persian mystic and poet Jalal al-Din Rumi's 22nd niece Esin Celebi also expressed her condolences over the demise of Kiarostami in a separate message. Iran's representative office at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO also opened a memorial book for signature to honour Kiatostami.
Critics such as Jonathan Rosenbaum have argued that "there's no getting around the fact that the movies of Abbas Kiarostami divide audiences—in this country, in his native Iran, and everywhere else they're shown." Rosenbaum argues that disagreements and controversy over Kiarostami's movies have arisen from his style of film-making because what in Hollywood would count as essential narrative information is frequently missing from Kiarostami's films. Camera placement, likewise, often defies standard audience expectations: in the closing sequences of Life and Nothing More and Through the Olive Trees, the audience is forced to imagine the dialogue and circumstances of important scenes. In Homework and Close-Up, parts of the Soundtrack are masked or silenced. Critics have argued that the subtlety of Kiarostami's cinematic expression is largely resistant to critical analysis.
Kiarostami's three volumes of original verse, plus his selections from classical and contemporary Persian poets, including Nima, Hafez, Rumi and Saadi, were translated into English in 2015 and were published in bilingual (Persian/English) editions by Sticking Place Books in New York.
Mohammad Shirvani, a fellow filmmaker and close friend, quoted Kiarostami on his Facebook wall June 8, 2016: "I do not believe I could stand and direct any more films. They [the medical team] destroyed it [his digestive system]." After this comment, a campaign was set up by Iranians on both Twitter and Facebook to investigate the possibility of medical error during Kiarostami's procedure. However, Ahmad Kiarostami, his eldest son, denied any medical error in his father's treatment after Shirvani's comment and said that his father's health was no cause for alarm. After Kiarostami's death, Head of the Iranian Medical Council Dr. Ali Reza Zali sent a letter to his French counterpart, Patrick Bouet, urging him to send Kiarostami's medical file to Iran for further investigation. Nine days after Kiarostami's death, on July 13, 2016, his family issued a formal complaint of medical maltreatment through Kiarostami's personal Doctor. Dariush Mehrjui, famous Iranian cinema Director also criticized the medical team that treated Kiarostami and demanded legal action.