{Of all lies, art is the least untrue - Flaubert}

Friday, October 21, 2005

Kiarostami on films

Abbas Kiarostami, the well known intellectual director from Iran, is a critics favorite. I saw his A Taste of Cherry (Winner of 1997 Palm D'or at Cannes) last night because I was feeling an intellectual viod for sometime and was in immediate need to fill it up. I liked the film, in a very Kiarostami-c style, the film contemplates on the complex questions of life and death, though the ending may not be liked by some. Before that I have seen his celebrated masterpiece, Close-up. I plan to write about him and his films sometime later, but for now I will put a piece of his interview that I found in the DVD of A Taste of Cherry.

Abbas Kiarostami about films.

AK: Its not conscious, but now that one can see all my films as a body of work, it seems like they talk about the same things. Someone once said that every filmmaker basically makes only one film in his lifetime but cuts it down and offer it in cinematic installments to his audience over a period of time. Its difficult to talk about things that I like because you see them in my films. Its easier for me to talk about things that I don't like. What I don't like you don't see in my films, but in all I don't like to engage in telling stories, I don't like to arouse the viewer emotionally or give him advice. I don't like to belittle him or burden him with a sense of guilt. Those are the things I don't like in movie. I think a good film is one with lasting power, and you start to reconstruct it right after you leave the theater. There are lots of films that seem to be boring, but they are decent films. On the other hand, there are films that nail you to your seat and overwhelm you to the point that you forget everything, but you feel cheated later. These are the films that take you hostage . I absolutely don't like the films in which the filmmaker take their viewer hostages and provoke them. I prefer the films that put their audience to sleep in the theater. I think those films are kind enough to allow you a nice nap. Some films have made me doze off in the theater, but the same film have made me stay up at night, waking up thinking about them in the morning and keep on thinking about them for weeks. Those are the kind of film I like.

Read Sense of Cinema's profile on Kiarostami here and read here what Guardian has to say about him and here is an interview.

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