Before his death in 2016, Abbas Kiarostami wrote or directed more than thirty films in a career that mirrored Iranian cinema's rise as an international force. His 1997 feature Taste of Cherry made him the first Iranian filmmaker to win the Palme d'Or at Cannes. Critics' polls continue to place Close-Up (1990) and Through the Olive Trees (1994) among the masterpieces of world cinema. Yet Kiarostami's naturalistic impulses and winding complexity made him one of the most divisive--if influential--filmmakers of his time. In this expanded second edition, award-winning Iranian filmmaker Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa and film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum renew their illuminating cross-cultural dialogue on Kiarostami's work. The pair chart the filmmaker's late-in-life turn toward art galleries, museums, still photography, and installations. They also bring their distinct but complementary perspectives to a new conversation on the experimental film Shirin. Finally, Rosenbaum offers an essay on watching Kiarostami at home while Saeed-Vafa conducts a deeply personal interview with the director on his career and his final feature, Like Someone in Love.
About the Author
Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa is a filmmaker and a professor of film at Columbia College in Chicago. She is the author of several essays and articles on Iranian cinema. Jonathan Rosenbaum was the film critic for the Chicago Reader from 1987 to 2008. He archives his work at jonathanrosenbaum.net. His books include Goodbye Cinema, Hello Cinephilia and Discovering Orson Welles.
Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgments ix
Abbas Kiarostami Jonathan Rosenbaum 1
Abbas Kiarostami Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa 45
A Dialogue between the Authors 79
Interviews with Abbas Kiarostami 105
A Dialogue about Shirin 126
New Dialogue: Fifteen Years Later 131
Watching Kiarostami Films at Home Jonathan Rosenbaum 141
Reflections on Like Someone in Love Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa 149