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This is a major loss, that of a great artist – also a photographer, poet and painter – that scores of an indelible mark on the history of world cinema. Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami has died aged 76, did on Monday July 4 suites with cancer. According to the news agency ISNA, the director, whose health had deteriorated, had left Tehran last week for treatment in France after surgery in mid-March in the Iranian capital.
life then stops, including the author of And life goes . In this beautiful 1992 film, a filmmaker from Tehran, double author, returned with her son at the scene of the shooting of a previous film, which had just occurred a deadly earthquake in search of survivors among the children who participated.
this quest for life in a dead landscape, this humanist aspiration under the oppressive yoke, was in constant admirable truth of the work of Abbas Kiarostami. A work conducted with courage under the yoke of Islamic censorship, until exhaustion of the author, left turn under other skies when the regime hardens its authority.
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the instigator of a new Iranian cinema
born in Tehran June 22, 1940, formed the Fine Arts, director of advertising films, Abbas Kiarostami takes part in 1969 in the creation of the film department of the Institute for the intellectual development of children and young adults ( Kanoun ), in which it will carry out numerous short films. These are films for civic and educational function immediately sublimated by the staggering sense of staging that expresses it.
The first, conducted in 1970 and entitled The Pain and Rue , announces the genius of Kiarostami transform a scenario of three lines in a human comedy monument, ipso facto film anthology piece. Here, the story of a boy walking through the streets to bring bread from breakfast at home, when a threatening dog, suddenly, it blocks the road.
In 1979, began under the regime Shah, he directed case 1, case 2 . An example of a moral dilemma as he likes (excluding students in the class for heckling and denunciation by one of them the culprit) and submit it to the appreciation of personalities, in what has become, during filming, the Islamic Republic of Iran. Beautiful utopian panel, which includes a communist, a rabbi, artists, and Ayatollah Sadegh Khalkhali, affable man who shows a more liberal towards children. This is the same which, under chief of the Revolutionary Court, will hang up and runs hundreds of opponents. The film quickly disappeared from circulation.
Kanoun does not become less, under the leadership of Kiarostami, the haven of relative artistic freedom at the same time the laboratory of a new Iranian cinema that is emerging on the international scene. Asia, in fact, take this time over new waves recede elsewhere. Taiwan (Hou), Hong Kong (Wong Kar Wai) and therefore also of Iran, reborn stimulating aesthetic proposals. Surprisingly, under an authoritarian regime and iconoclastic, everything seems to devote to become a cinematic no man’s land, appears a current, strengthening is prohibited representation that imposes on him, retrains anew by its procedure and its deep social concern, Italian neorealism.
childhood as central motif
Before that moviegoers will discover on the scene of the biggest festivals this silhouette they become familiar – sunglasses, understated elegance, subtle humor, disarming smile – we can date the time of its discovery in France. It was in March 1990 with the theatrical release of his fourth feature film, Where Is the Friend’s Home? (1987). The simple story, yet epic, a boy who swiped the book of his friend, and inquire from village to village, to return it, otherwise it could be returned to the school. The film, remarkable tale tends to condense and the spirit of the film Kiarostami: childhood as central motif, the invigorating freshness of outlook on the world, the argument counting coupled with the complexity of the narrative structure.
But no sooner discovered, the filmmaker already changes gear ratio. He signed in 1990 with Close up, the first in a series of masterpieces which enshrines it as one of the greatest filmmakers in the world. The use of paper as a source of undecidable fiction is enhanced, the carved baroque vertigo. The film reconstructs the plot of a news item, with its own role in the main protagonist: Hossein Sabzian, a movie buff impostor posing for the famous director Mohsen Makhmalbaf. Kiarostami has also had the opportunity to film the true Sabzian trial, whose verdict is inflected by the cameras. Here, then, the intermingling between reality and fiction, reflecting on the passion for cinema and its relation to real life reach a point of melting and dizzying enjoyment.
At 50, filmmaker will live the most fertile decade of his career. And life goes (1992) and In Travers olive (1994) after Where Is the Friend’s Home? , each referring to a element, real or fictional, that affects the previous trilogy weaving a fascinating field where the figure of the director and filming the process are available whenever called into abyss on the principle of Russian dolls. The miracle here is that this devious construction is designed to give right to the accident, the pure presence, freed life slag primer.
A “code” Kiarostami
in 1997, happens what should happen: the cherry Taste (1997) won the golden palm at Cannes. The story of a guy named “Mr. Badii” , whose obsession is to commit suicide, and therefore to find a helping hand to throw the earth into the pit where he expects to complete its days. Furrowing around Tehran in an old 4 × 4, this singular Carpool pioneer the market offers each passenger that embarks. Two years later, flicking always with great thanks the dialectic of death and life, Kiarostami gives And the Wind Will Carry Us (1999), a kind of Waiting for Godot installed in a village in Kurdistan, where an anthropologist who is waiting to observe the local funeral rites ends up saving the life of a prisoner worker a hole
on this date, a “code” Kiarostami has imposed on all moviegoers. serpentine roads clinging to the valleys, stunning landscapes traversed car cameras, panoramic loose and languid, tragic and funny stories, deliberately indeterminate. A belief emerges: a film will never be the beginning of a path that ends in the mind of the viewer. Artist of dispossession, as Kafka imagined an artist of fasting, Kiarostami creates in short films that is a test of freedom in a system that has not stopped the force.
This inclination the lead later in the questioning of the prerogatives of the author and staging. A new period will thus open, more experimental, which favors the device, how to let the world enter full within rather than subjugate. It is clear that this shift occurs when, in Iran, the struggle between reformers and conservative forces is about to turn to the advantage of seconds. After twenty years of Islamic rule, ten devoted to attack and prohibit the artist celebrated in the West, a possible fatigue may have won Kiarostami, whose last two films probably do not evoke anything for the reason for the living funeral.
Ten (2002) therefore launches a series of films, including minimalism will go accentuating ( Five Shirin …) blurring of fact the presence of the master of cinema on the international stage. The first title is still the most exciting: a conductive attractive in traffic of Tehran, two cameras installed on the dashboard, ten numbered sequences of 10 to 1, each corresponding to a character who climbs aboard . A real company, with thirst for democracy, y end of impatience. The rest is history. Election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president in 2005 bloody crackdown on protesters during his re-election in 2009.
“I will never give up my job”
Kiarostami exchange then of course: shooting abroad, possibly with star. Deep in himself, he is really growing, who had once defended the need for the filmmaker to remain on its soil? Certified Copy (2010), Rossellini variation with Juliette Binoche and Like Someone in Love (2012), respectively, shot in Italy and Japan, confirm this doubt, without any dishonor. His ultimate shooting, remained unfinished due to the sudden return of his illness has taken place in China. Kiarostami had also been a long-standing, settle abroad. It always refused it, because it was important to him to turn in his country, which attached him, spiritually and plastically, the whole poetic and pictorial tradition Persian, very sensitive in his films.
This concern justified refusal courteous he opposed political requests Western journalists. But in July 2009, in the darkest days of repression, he could no longer restrain. Saying, when we found him in Tuscany on the set of Certified Copy
“The political situation is such that the same possibility work there seems very compromised. And I do not know, frankly, if it will be possible in the future. Here we are informed every day, Internet, events that take place in Iran. What reaches us from the violence of the repression gives the impression that a page has been turned, without return. As for me, all I know is that I want to return to Tehran, my desire is to make films in my country. I was so far a very conciliatory citizen, insofar as we no longer watch my movies in Iran for twelve years. If the situation were to get worse if we deprived me of my rights, one thing is certain is that I will never give up my job. “
Poignant declaration of a creator exhausted by the fight against obscurantism. How, in terms of his own death, did not think of the sublime epilogue, one of the best for the history of film, Cherry Taste ? To Mr. Badii, lying in his grave by a stormy night, in his infinite and silent solitude in the dark sky and tore at the black screen that makes the lasting disappear before this unexpected return of day and died in a socket amateur video of the phosphorescent end of the shoot.
we see Badii a cigarette with Kiarostami, the Refuge quivering light of a new dawn, there follows soldiers play like children , an instrumental upsetting the funeral we hear rise Saint James Infirmary . Dazzled, rang, we understand nothing more “twist” concept? Badii resurrection? nose foot to religious censorship prohibits suicide? At least we see that life, indeed, goes on.
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