Tuesday, September 6, 2016




"I feel like a tree. A tree doesn't feel a duty to start doing something about the earth from which it comes. A tree just has to bear fruit, and leaves and blossoms. It doesn't feel grateful to the earth."    
(Abbas Kiarostami )

ABBAS KIAROSTAMI ( 1940-2016 )
International media failed to report his death prominently. He died in a Paris hospital . It is reported that he did not get proper /correct Medical advice and treatment for his Intestinal bleeding . The family and friends hold doctors responsible for his death .
His death created a void in world cinema.In an Interview  published in Guardian , an Oscar winning film Director from Iran said   :
"He changed the world’s cinema; he freshened it and humanised it in contrast with Hollywood’s rough version.He was a man of life, who enjoyed living and made films in praise of life – that’s why it’s so difficult to come to terms with his death.”

He deserved some space in our media as well.

He was Abbas Kiarostami ( June 1940— July 2016 ) . Abbas was liberal by conviction and a warm and optimistic human being .He would say:
" Religion works on some people but not on everyone, Because it says" Stop thinking and accept what I tell you" That is not valid for people who want to think and reflect."

A Photographer , Poet, Painter , Graphic Designer , Translator and an acclaimed Film Maker from Iran.I remain highly impressed by his work. By work I mean photographs , Books and Poems. I have read reviews of his films In  some international Newspapers and Magazines  . Brilliant and impressive.

His photo Exhibition titled “Walls and Door “ ( Based on his Photo clicks over two decades in Iran, Italy, France, and Morocco ) was covered by many leading Newspapers of the world. The record for the highest-priced photograph from the Middle East belongs to Kiarostami ; over $100,000 in Christie’s , making him the most expensive photographer in the region.

He was Satyajit Ray or Akira Kurosawa of Iran. Akira Kurosawa  once commented on the resemblance between Ray And Kiarostami:
"When Satyajit Ray died, I was quite depressed, but after watching Kiarostami’s films, I thought that God had found the right person to take his place”.
Abbas was fluent in French .He did some beautiful translations from French to Persian.He was a lover of Satyajit Ray’s Cinema .He loved western classical music especially composers like Mozart and Beethoven which got reflected when he produced Mozart's opera, “Così fan tutte “.

In his films , he used mystic facets and eastern spirituality also apart from using Dialogues laced with poetry of Omar Khayyám or modern Persian poets such as Sohrab Sepehri and Forough Farrokhzad.

Abbas was involved with 40 films. He was a screen writer , director , producer , Dialogue writer , Film Editor and Art Director .CLOSE UP , WIND WILL CARRY US , LIFE AND NOTHING MORE , TASTE OF CHERRY,WHERE IS THE FRIEND'S HOME?, UNDER THE OLIVE TREES, CERTIFIED COPY, and THE JOURNEY are some notable and critically acclaimed films of Abbas . He worked with Hollywood actors  , International Film makers and directed some finest Operas .

He was well known for using a child as Protagonist in his films.He would also use good poetry in his film dialogues apart from adding landscape shots liberally.

Many awards came his way, Many Books were written on his cinema and the techniques he employed . . “Men At Work - Cinematic Lessons from Abbas Kiarostami “by Sani Mehmoud Reza and “The Cinema of Abbas Kiarostami by Alberto Elena are considered as master pieces that define his cinema.
He wrote more than 30 books covering Cinema Techniques , Poetry, Translation and fiction .

Kiarostami  had constant trouble with censorship in Iran, yet he chose to stay back and present truth where it was much needed to be presented. Like a Tree , he stuck to his ground.I N an interview Abbas said:
When you take a tree that is rooted in the ground, and transfer it from one place to another, the tree will no longer bear fruit. And if it does, the fruit will not be as good as it was in its original place. This is a rule of nature. I think if I had left my country, I would be the same as the tree.”
One is amazed to to see how Kiarostami was able to work profusely and free-spiritedly within some what inflexible socio- political limitations imposed in his country .
About his films , Richard Brody( Well known American Film Critic and Journalist )writes
“His films are marked by two main figures of style—extended views of people travelling and working in alluring landscapes and streets, and extended views of people talking in cars. His images of landscapes are among the most ecstatic and rapturous ever filmed, and he patiently observes his characters moving through them with a determination that’s as existentially committed as it is gracefully choreographic. For Kiarostami, cars are private places in public, crucial intersections of personal space with the random impingement of happenstance—and of political power, as it inhabits the very substance of ordinary people’s ways of living, talking, and thinking.”
   In July 2016 , A prominent News paper wrote :
"Despite the global attention on his work, Kiarostami did not receive official support in Iran, where his movies were rarely screened.Some at the memorial service held posters that said “First Welcome, Last Farewell" -- a reference to the lack of official attention he received in Iran "


He would often say that a director must have capacity to see beyond the visible ...



            kIAROSTAMI  would also say that still photography is the mother of cinema .                                                              

I end this post with his sample poetry written iñ Japanese Haiku style with cinematic sensibilities .These brief Poems appear in his Book “ A Wolf Lying in wait”..

A red dotted line on the white snow
wounded game
limping away.
The full moon
reflected in water,
the water
contained in the bowl,
and the thirsty man
deep in sleep.
shining on a narrow path
that I won't take.
What a pity
I was not a good host
for the snowflake
that settled on my eyelid.
White colt
red to his knees
after gamboling
in a field of poppies.
Morning is white,
evening is black,
a gray sorrow
in between.
A wolf
lying in wait.
is the reward of a caterpillar
that wrapped itself
in a cocoon of silk.
A whirlwind
the shepherd's boiling kettle
set up on top of a hill.
The smell of smoke
the smell of burning rue
the sound of a baby crying
An adobe hut.
A young moon
an old wine
a new friend.
An apple fell from the tree
and I thought of
the apple's attraction."

So Long so much on this master .

( Autar Mota )

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