Abbas Kiarostami Quotes
Abbas Kiarostami (Persian: ???? ?????????? pronunciation ; 22 June 1940 – 4 July 2016) was an Iranian film director, screenwriter, photographer and film producer. An active film-maker from 1970, Kiarostami had been involved in over forty films, including shorts and documentaries. Kiarostami attained critical acclaim for directing the Koker trilogy (1987–94), Close-Up (1990), Taste of Cherry (1997) – which was awarded the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival that year – and The Wind Will Carry Us (1999). In his later works, Certified Copy (2010) and Like Someone in Love (2012), he filmed for the first time outside Iran: in Italy and Japan, respectively
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I think it was [Jean-Luc] Godard who said that life is nothing but a bad copy of film, but then our ambition must be to make better films and better shapes of forms that are given in life.
I do believe in [Robert] Bresson's method of creation through omission, not through addition.
I would be too selfish if I said everyone should see my movies more than once. To say that would mean I'm just marketing my work!
It's not so much a question of whether we've shot it through 35mm or digital video; what is important is whether the audience accepts it as real.
What I am trying to say is that it is not without any value. The value of copies is that they can direct us towards the original. I was recently at the Louvre Museum and I was filming people who were viewing the Mona Lisa. I noticed the number of ordinary people, astonished, mouths agape, standing still for long stretches looking at the work, and I wondered, "Where does this come from? Are these people all art connoisseurs?" They are like me; through the years, we've seen this work in our schoolbooks or art history books, but when we stand before the original, we hold our breath.
When I find the character, I try to spend time with them and get to know them very well. Therefore my notes are not from the character that I had in my mind before, but are instead based on the people I've met in real life.
I didn't just see myself as a film director here [in Life And Nothing More], but also as an observer of people who had been condemned to death.
Not that I ever felt the necessity of proving that all human beings suffer the same way, feel joy the same way, but it happened on my way - when I get close to these people, just by the simple intervention of translation I can actually reach them and ask them something, and their reaction is as I expected. I see that the relationship goes so smoothly, and I realize that cultural languages and specificities are nothing but simple obstacles that you can easily overcome. It's obvious that human beings are the same wherever they are.
I think life is so difficult to catch, it's so furtive, that a copy, a film, can in no way catch it and represent it.
In this type of cinema, whether working with actors or non-actors, as much as you do direct them, if you allow yourself to be directed by them, then the end result will be much more pleasing. The real and individual strengths of the actors is allowed to be expressed and is something that does affect the audience very deeply.
When the film [Certified Copy] was in the Cannes Festival, I realized that the fact of having it shot in a different culture, in a different language, in a different setting, that wasn't mine and that I didn't belong to, gave me a totally different relationship to the film. When I was sitting in the audience during the official screening in Cannes, I didn't feel that it was my film.
Close-Up is a very particular film in my oeuvre. It's a film that was made in a very particular way; mainly because I didn't really have the time to think about how to go about making the film.
I wasn't searching for a common denominator - I started wondering about the challenge of working in other cultures. What I reached was the sudden acknowledgment of the universal aspect of filmmaking.