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Abbas Kiarostami

Abbas Kiarostami

Abbas Kiarostami is one of the most influential and controversial post-revolutionary Iranian filmmakers and one of the most highly celebrated directors in the international film community of the last decade. During the period of the 1980s and the 1990s, at a time when Iranians had such a negative image in the West, his cinema introduced a humane and artistic face.

Kiarostami studied at the Tehran University's Faculty of Fine Arts. In 1970, he founded the film department of the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (known as Kanun), which became an important center for Iranian contemporary film making. He ran the department for five years and at the same time directed his first film, The Bread and Alley, in 1970. Making educational films for children at Kanun, a non-commercial organization, helped him form his basic approach to cinema.

Although Kiarostami made several award-winning films early in his career, it was after the Iranian Revolution that he earned a highly esteemed reputation on the stage of world cinema. 20 years after his ground-breaking debut feature, The Report (1977), he was awarded the prestigious Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) award at the Cannes Film Festival for his film Taste of Cherry in 1997.

His masterpiece Close-up (1990) and, later, the poetic Life, and Nothing More... (1992) led to Kiarostami's discovery in the West, mainly by the French. He won the Un Certain Regard award for the latter at Cannes.

Kiarostami belongs to a generation of filmmakers who created the so called New Wave, a movement in Iranian cinema that started in the 1960s, before the revolution of 1979 and flourished in the 1970s. Directors like Forough Farrokhzad, Sohrab Shahid Saless, Bahram Beizai, and Parviz Kimiavi were the pioneers of this movement. They made innovative art films which had highly political and philosophical tones and poetic language. Some, like Saless (who is compared to Robert Bresson), introduced a realist (minimal plot, non-dramatic) style, while others, like Kimiavi (known as the Iranian Godard, mixing fantasy and reality), employed a metaphoric form.

He is also a poet and first published collection of his poems in 1999.


Note: This profile was written in or before 2005.

Abbas Kiarostami Facts

OccupationDirector
BirthdayJune 22, 1940 (77)
SignCancer
BirthplaceTehran, Iran

Selected Filmography

Not available.