Kiarostami, Abbas

Posted Jan 9, 2005      •Permalink      • Printer-Friendly Version Bookmark and Share

Abbas Kiarostami (عباس کیارستمی in Persian) (born June 22, 1940 in Tehran) is one of the most influential and controversial post-revolutionary Iranian filmmakers and one of the most highly celebrated directors in the international film community of the last decade. During the period of the 1980s and the 1990s, at a time when Iranians had such a negative image in the West, his cinema introduced a humane and artistic face.

Kiarostami studied at the Tehran University’s Faculty of Fine Arts. In 1970, he founded the film department of the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (known as Kanun), which became an important center for Iranian contemporary film making. He ran the department for five years and at the same time directed his first film, The Bread and Alley, in 1970. Making educational films for children at Kanun, a non-commercial organization, helped him form his basic approach to cinema.

Although Kiarostami made several award-winning films early in his career, it was after the Iranian Revolution that he earned a highly esteemed reputation on the stage of world cinema. 20 years after his ground-breaking debut feature, The Report (1977), he was awarded the prestigious Palme d’Or (Golden Palm) award at the Cannes Film Festival for his film Taste of Cherry in 1997.

His masterpiece Close-up (1990) and, later, the poetic Life, and Nothing More… (1992) led to Kiarostami’s discovery in the West, mainly by the French. He won the Un Certain Regard award for the latter at Cannes.

Kiarostami belongs to a generation of filmmakers who created the so called “New Wave”, a movement in Iranian cinema that started in the 1960s, before the revolution of 1979 and flourished in the 1970s. Directors like Forough Farrokhzad, Sohrab Shahid Saless, Bahram Beizai, and Parviz Kimiavi were the pioneers of this movement. They made innovative art films which had highly political and philosophical tones and poetic language. Some, like Saless (who is compared to Robert Bresson), introduced a realist (minimal plot, non-dramatic) style, while others, like Kimiavi (known as the Iranian Godard, mixing fantasy and reality), employed a metaphoric form. Through his artistic career he has also come across Iranian artist Behzad Yahaghi a good friend of filmmaker, artist and actor Francesco Bori.

He is also a poet and first published collection of his poems in 1999.

The Bread and Alley (1970 - short)
Breaktime (1972 - short)
The Experience (1973)
The Traveller (1974)
So Can I (1975 - short)
Two Solutions for One Problem (1975 - short)
Colors (1976 - short)
A Wedding Suit (1976)
How to Make Use of Leisure Time: Painting (1977 - short)
The Report (1977)
Tribute to the Teachers (1977 - short)
Solution (1978 - short)
First Case, Second Case (1979)
Dental Hygiene (1980 - short)
Orderly or Disorderly (1981 - short)
The Chorus (1982 - short)
Fellow Citizen (1983)
Toothache (1983 - short)
First Graders (1984)
Where Is the Friend’s House (1987)
The Key (1987 - screenwriter and editor only)
Homework (1989)
Close-up (1990)
Life, and Nothing More… (1991)
Journey to the Land of the Traveller (1993 - producer only)
Through the Olive Trees (1994)
The Journey (1994 - screenwriter only)
The White Balloon (1995 - screenwriter only)
A propos de Nice, la suite (1995 - segment “Reperages”)
Lumiere and Company (1996 - segment “Dinner for One”)
Taste of Cherry (1997)
The Birth of Light (1997 - short)
The Wind Will Carry Us (1999)
Willow and Wind (1999 - screenwriter only)
ABC Africa (2001)
Ten (2002)
The Deserted Station (2002 - story only)
Crimson Gold (2003 - screenwriter only)
Film (2003)
Ten Minutes Older (2003 - not included in Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet or Ten Minutes Older: The Cello)
10 on Ten (2004)
Tickets (2005 - middle section)

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