kiarostami-film.jpg {Link:Abbas Kiarostami is the most influential and controversial post-revolutionary Iranian filmmaker and one of the most highly celebrated directors in the international film community of the last decade. (1) During the period of the ‘80s and the ‘90s, at a time when Iranians had such a negative image in the West, his cinema introduced a humane and artistic face….}

Reproducing the Text written by Abbas Kiarostami, a refreshingly brilliant filmmaker who never tried to belittle the intelligence of True-Cinema lovers. Text written for the Centenary of Cinema.

“Originally, I thought that the lights went out in a movie theatre so that we could see the images on the screen better. Then I looked a little closer at the audience settling comfortably into the seats and saw that there was much more important reason: the darkness allowed the members of the audience to isolate themselves from others and to be alone. They were both with others and distant from them. When we reveal a film’s world to the members of an audience, they each learn their own world through the wealth of their own experience. As a filmmaker, I rely on this creative intervention for, otherwise, the film and the audience will die together. Faultless stories that work perfectly have one major defect : they work too well with to allow the audience to intervene.      thewindwillcarryus-1.jpg

It is a fact that films without a story are not very popular with audiences, yet a story also requires gaps, empty spaces like in a crossword puzzle, voids that it is up to the audience to fill in. Or, like a private detective in a thriller to discover. I believe in a type of cinema that gives greater possibilities and time to its audience. A half-created cinema, an unfinished cinema that attains completion through the creative spirit of the audience, so resulting in hundreds of films.  It belongs to the members of audience and corresponds to their own world. 

The world of each work, of each film recounts a new truth. In the darkened theatre, we give everyone the chance to dream and to express his dream freely. If art succeeds in changing things and proposing new ideas, it can only do so via the free creativity of the people we are addressing – each individual member of the audience. Between the fabricated and ideal world of the artist and that of the person he addresses, there is a solid and permanent bond. Art allows the individual to create his truth according to his own wishes and criteria; it also allows him to reject other imposed truths. Art gives each artist and his audience the opportunity to have a more precise view of the truth concealed behind the pain and passion that ordinary people experience everyday.  A filmmaker’s commitment to attempting to change daily life can only reach fruition through the complicity of the audience. The latter is active only if the film creates a world full of contradictions and conflicts that the audience members are able to perceive. The formula is simple : there is a world that we consider real but not completely just. This world is not the fruit of our minds and it does not suit us all that well but, through cinematic techniques, we create a world that is one hundred times more real and just than the one around us. This does not mean that our world gives a false image of justice but, on the contrary, it better highlights the contrasts that exist between our ideal world and the real world. In this world, we speak of hope, sorrow and passion. 

The cinema is a window into our dreams and through which it is easier to recognize ourselves. Thanks to the knowledge and passion thus acquired, we transform life to the benefit of our dreams. The cinema seat is of greater assistance than the analyst’s couch. Sitting in a cinema seat we are left to our own devices and this is perhaps the only place where we so bound to and yet so distant from each other : that is the miracle of cinema. In cinema’s next century, respect of the audience as an intelligent and constructive element is inevitable. To attain this, one must perhaps move away from the concept of the audience as the absolute master. The director must also be the audience of his own film. For hundred years, cinema has belonged to the filmmaker. Let us hope that now the time has come for us to implicate the audience in its second century.”

 thewindwillcarryus.jpg “The Wind Will Carry Us”,

One amongst the masterpieces crafted by him, which allows us enough space to Reconstruct the film through our point of view towards life. I must say, it is one of those few films, which leave us feeling so refreshed, so optimistic about the Present. The Future may promise finer things in life, but stay with this moment. 

I say, “Let yourself be directed up and down the narrow path through the golden wheat fields, drooping and swaying beneath the weight of their ripe, golden harvest…..it is the real country, picturesque, profoundly characteristic and feel the most intimate experience of your life”. “A stunningly lyrical and eloquent exploration” says, The New York Times. Winner of Best film – Venice Film Festival, this is about a filmmaker from Tehran who travels to a remote, serene looking mountain village. He has secret plans to record a local ritual ceremony surrounding an old dying woman (behind the blue window of a tiny house). A young boy, Farzad becomes his guide, who ultimately becomes his source of information – the informant on the old woman’s journey towards death – she did not take the soup tonight, She did not speak to anyone etc… Convincing the locals that they are archaeologists looking for some buried treasure, the filmmaker attempts to befriend the villagers with mixed results. As the rustling wind, golden light and deep shadows of the village cast an alluring spell, the deathwatch drags on much to the irritation of his crew and the old woman stubbornly clings to life, differences within the family (the boy belongs to) settles down, leaving the protagonist well deservedly transformed…..he realizes that he has no right to intrude upon a family’s privacy and its rituals,especially, when it is under an emotional hit, due to a grievous event – death !

taste.gif “Taste of Cherry”, 

Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival, is an emotionally complex, subtly disturbing meditation on life and death. It reflects the helplessness of humans who are burdened with Life, who are trying to break away from the inexplicable canvas of varied problems in life, loneliness- could be one of them, who constantly search for some kind of wordily, gestures-led comfort from other humans. Middle-aged Mr Badii drives through the hilly outskirts of Tehran – searching for someone to rescue or bury him.

{link:Taste of Cherry(1997), a mythic tale told in the simplest terms but containing a complicated concept of suicide possibly alien to both eastern and western cultures. A desperate man bent on committing suicide attempts to enlist the help of someone to make sure he is buried, dead and not alive. Can he find a compassionate man to do him such an unusual favour in exchange for a large monetary reward? A simple idea, almost an Aesopian tale, but one that branches off into complex dimensions and sub-themes relating to the human condition, the legitimacy of the act of suicide, and many other meanings.

where_is_the_friends_home.jpg 

The movie,”Where is the friend’s Home?”, Rakesh says, is a beautiful meditation of general humanitarianism coupled with care and compassion and at the same time undaunted by meaning-less opinions and un-understanding adults. The movie ends on a note of triumph but not as expected by the kid.

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{Our expert : Alok Celebration of Short films}

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