Iran

Abbas Kiarostami – Zire darakhatan zeyton aka Through the Olive Trees [+Extras] (1994)

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A film director is making a movie in the Iranian countryside. He recruits local actors, but when shooting begins, a problem comes to light. His male lead, a young man named Hossein (playing himself), is madly in love with his fifteen-year old female co-star, Tahereh (playing herself). Because of Hossein’s illiteracy and homelessness, a marriage is impossible, at least from the perspective of Tahereh’s grandmother (who is also her guardian). Undaunted, the young man continues to pledge his undying love. For her part, Tahereh is busy studying for her exams and the last thing she wants is to engage in a conversation — any conversation — with the ardent suitor she wishes would go away. Read More »

Abbas Kiarostami – Nema-ye Nazdik AKA Close-Up [+Extras] (1990)

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Kiarostami Takes a Mirror to Movie-World Fame
Being Mohsen Makhmalbaf
by Michael Atkinson
December 29, 1999 – January 4, 2000

A full decade after its making, Abbas Kiarostami’s Close-Up emerges from the closed country of Rumored Masterpieces to no doubt pass through our cultural pipes as effectlessly as pork fat through a goose. (Zeitgeist displays admirable holiday spirit distributing it.) The must-see Iranian Godardian knot of a movie, Close-Up is no crowd-pleaser, but neither is it less breathtaking than Godard in his salad days. Most of this year’s best releases—Les Amants du Pont Neuf, Boiling Point, A Moment of Innocence included—have spent lonely years on the market, but Kiarostami’s film has artichoke-like layers which, once peeled, are forever resonant. How simple yet inexhaustible can a filmic text get? Here you have in vitro the ruminative spiral-evolution of Kiarostami’s Quoker “earthquake” trilogy and the mysterian subtractions and realist ellipses of Taste of Cherry and The Wind Will Carry Us. Seemingly bottomless, Kiarostami’s reflexivity never obscures his deep, aching concern for people. Nobody makes or has ever made movies with such mundane majesty. Read More »

Abbas Kiarostami – Mashgh-e Shab aka Homework (1989)

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Edited extract from “Shooting Down Pictures” Blog
Homework could stand as the perfect model of cinema verité in its capacity to extract the lies that reveal the truth.”

Thus wrote Peter Matthews in an article on Homework for Sight and Sound back in 2002. It was one of a series of write-ups leading to the 2002 Sight and Sound Greatest Films poll, where writers were asked to promote “out of the box” titles that could help shake up conceptions about what “great movies” were.

Matthews’ nomination of Homework (the film ended up not getting a single vote) was clearly a bid on behalf of documentaries. His article is one of the most stirring defenses of the documentary as an artform that I have ever read. It came to me at a time when I was not sure what films I wanted to make (guess what, I’m still not sure) and was especially conflicted about documentaries, the secondary citizen of cinema. For me, Matthews’ essay was a galvanizing corrective towards a host of misconceptions about documentary as art. Read More »

Abbas Kiarostami – Roads of Kiarostami (2006)

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Roads of Kiarostami, a documentary that reflects on the power of landscape, combining austere black-and-white photographs with poetic observations, engaging music with political subject matter.
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Abbas Kiarostami – Shirin (2008)

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Variety Review :
Though his name continues to pop up regularly as writer or story man on a good chunk of Iranian cinema, Abbas Kiarostami himself has not filmed anything even vaguely commercial since 2002’s “Ten.” The maestro has disappeared into making more abstract, experimental installations, theater pieces and films (“Five”). His latest, “Shirin,” wherein 112 Iranian actresses and Juliette Binoche are shot watching a 12th-century Persian play, with the play’s performance itself kept entirely offscreen, is unlikely to pack ’em in. Yet “Shirin” offers a feast for the bedazzled eye and a crash course in narrative obsession for the benumbed mind. Read More »

Abbas Kiarostami – Ghazieh-e Shekl-e Aval, Ghazieh-e Shekl-e Dou Wom AKA First Case, Second Case (1979)

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First Film of Abbas Kairostami After Islamic Revolution in Iran. High School teacher asked 7 student to introduce guilty student, otherwise shay can’t come to class for a weak. After 3 days one of them come back to class and introduce the guilty student. so director ask some of positions and intellectuals in that time about ratting and betraying. Read More »

Abbas Kiarostami – Hamsarayan AKA The Chorus (1982)

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A deaf old man wearing a hearing aid is walking in the streets of Rasht. When the surroundings get too noisy, he turns off his sound. Unfortunately, when he returns home, he doesn’t hear his granddaughter, home from school, vainly ringing the doorbell. A chorus of children gathers to penetrate the old man’s silence.

This is one of Abbas Kiarostami’s finest short works. With the minimum of elements and every pound of sensibility and grace he could afford, the Iranian master shot a precious and brief manifest of some things really worth in life. You can see Víctor Erice’s “The spirit of the beehive” (1973) – shot ten year before, and surely well known by Kiarostami -and maybe some curious Raymond Depardon’s children in between the warm frames of this tiny piece that everyone who wants to be a director must see. The metaphor is clear and simple: we need human “touch” to be human. Don’t miss it and if you have the opportunity to see it, please recommend it. ( Author: postcefalu from Spain from IMDB) Read More »