Abbas Kiarostami: a cult filmmaker
There are artists who, throughout their lives, make infinite variations on the same work, and others who decide never to repeat themselves. Kiarostamí moves at opposite angles and without a pre-established destination, along a path of research – demanding and rigorous – that leads him to continually question his work and the results obtained, without losing his loyalty to his own universe and to an aesthetic of the gaze that it is at the same time an ethic of staging. Kiarostamí is also and above all a perfect artist. Like the great artists of the Renaissance, he is an author capable of expressing himself through different media and languages, always being true to himself and to his favorite subjects: cinema, of course, but also photography, short film, poetry. and the theater. (Alberto Barbera)
Abbas Kiarostami (1940 – 2016) was born in Tehran, the capital of Iran. In his youth, he attended a painting course at the Academy of Fine Arts in the Iranian capital. In 1969, he brought together young filmmakers and created a film department in Kanun-e Parvaresh Fekri Kudakan, which became a landmark for new Iranian cinematography. He achieved his first major recognition with the Bronze Leopard at Locarno in 1987 with ‘Khaneh-ye dust kojast? (Where is my friend’s house?). In 1995 he was a member of the jury in Venice and in 1997 he won the Palme d’Or at Cannes with “The taste of cherries” (Tam-e gilás). In 2002, he wrote and directed the film “Ten”, presented in competition at the Cannes Film Festival, which narrates the sentimental and emotional lives of six women in ten scenes.
“My films have progressively moved towards a certain type of minimalism, although it was never something intentional,” Kiarostamí maintains. I neither affirm nor deny that I have achieved something similar, but I strongly believe in Bresson’s method of creating by omission, not addition.”