|Birth Day:||June 22, 1940|
|Death Date:||4 July 2016(2016-07-04) (aged 76)
|Birth Place:||Tehran, Iran, Iran|
As per our current Database, Abbas Kiarostami died on 4 July 2016(2016-07-04) (aged 76)
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In 1969, Kiarostami married Parvin Amir-Gholi. They had two sons, Ahmad (born 1971) and Bahman (1978). They divorced in 1982.
In 1970 when the Iranian New Wave began with Dariush Mehrjui's film Gāv, Kiarostami helped set up a filmmaking department at the Institute for Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (Kanun) in Tehran. Its debut production, and Kiarostami's first film, was the twelve-minute The Bread and Alley (1970), a neo-realistic short film about a schoolboy's confrontation with an aggressive dog. Breaktime followed in 1972. The department became one of Iran's most noted film studios, producing not only Kiarostami's films, but acclaimed Persian films such as The Runner and Bashu, the Little Stranger.
During the filming of The Bread and Alley in 1970, Kiarostami had major differences with his experienced cinematographer about how to film the boy and the attacking dog. While the cinematographer wanted separate shots of the boy approaching, a close-up of his hand as he enters the house and closes the door, followed by a shot of the dog, Kiarostami believed that if the three scenes could be captured as a whole it would have a more profound impact in creating tension over the situation. That one shot took around forty days to complete, until Kiarostami was fully content with the scene. Kiarostami later commented that the breaking of scenes would have disrupted the rhythm and content of the film's structure, preferring to let the scene flow as one.
Following The Experience (1973), Kiarostami released The Traveler (Mossafer) in 1974. The Traveler tells the story of Qassem Julayi, a troubled and troublesome boy from a small Iranian city. Intent on attending a football match in far-off Tehran, he scams his friends and neighbors to raise money, and journeys to the stadium in time for the game, only to meet with an ironic twist of fate. In addressing the boy's determination to reach his goal, alongside his indifference to the effects of his amoral actions, the film examined human behavior and the balance of right and wrong. It furthered Kiarostami's reputation for realism, diegetic simplicity, and stylistic complexity, as well as his fascination with physical and spiritual journeys.
In 1975, Kiarostami directed two short films So Can I and Two Solutions for One Problem. In early 1976, he released Colors, followed by the fifty-four-minute film A Wedding Suit, a story about three teenagers coming into conflict over a suit for a wedding.
Kiarostami's first feature film was the 112-minute Report (1977). It revolved around the life of a tax collector accused of accepting bribes; suicide was among its themes. In 1979, he produced and directed First Case, Second Case.
In the early 1980s, Kiarostami directed several short films including Toothache (1980), Orderly or Disorderly (1981), and The Chorus (1982). In 1983, he directed Fellow Citizen. It was not until his release of Where Is the Friend's Home? that he began to gain recognition outside Iran.These films created the basis of his later productions.
Other representatives include the Venice Film Festival in 1985, the Locarno International Film Festival in 1990, the San Sebastian International Film Festival in 1996, the São Paulo International Film Festival in 2004, the Capalbio Cinema Festival in 2007 (in which he was president of the jury), and the Küstendorf Film and Music Festival in 2011. He also made regular appearances at many other film festivals across Europe, including the Estoril Film Festival in Portugal.
Where Is the Friend's Home?, And Life Goes On (1992) (also known as Life and Nothing More), and Through the Olive Trees (1994) are described by critics as the Koker trilogy, because all three films feature the village of Koker in northern Iran. The films also relate to the 1990 Manjil–Rudbar earthquake, in which 40,000 people died. Kiarostami uses the themes of life, death, change, and continuity to connect the films. The trilogy was successful in France in the 1990s and other Western European countries such as the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany and Finland. But, Kiarostami did not consider the three films to comprise a trilogy. He suggested that the last two titles plus Taste of Cherry (1997) comprise a trilogy, given their common theme of the preciousness of life. In 1987, Kiarostami was involved in the screenwriting of The Key, which he edited but did not direct. In 1989, he released Homework.
In 1992, Kiarostami directed Life, and Nothing More..., regarded by critics as the second film of the Koker trilogy. The film follows a father and his young son as they drive from Tehran to Koker in search of two young boys who they fear might have perished in the 1990 earthquake. As the father and son travel through the devastated landscape, they meet earthquake survivors forced to carry on with their lives amid disaster. That year Kiarostami won a Prix Roberto Rossellini, the first professional film award of his career, for his direction of the film. The last film of the so-called Koker trilogy was Through the Olive Trees (1994), which expands a peripheral scene from Life and Nothing More into the central drama. Critics such as Adrian Martin have called the style of filmmaking in the Koker trilogy as "diagrammatical", linking the zig-zagging patterns in the landscape and the geometry of forces of life and the world. A flashback of the zigzag path in Life and Nothing More... (1992) in turn triggers the spectator's memory of the previous film, Where Is the Friend's Home? from 1987, shot before the earthquake. This symbolically links to the post-earthquake reconstruction in Through the Olive Trees in 1994. In 1995, Miramax Films released Through the Olive Trees in the US theaters.
Kiarostami was a jury member at numerous film festivals, most notably the Cannes Film Festival in 1993, 2002 and 2005. He was also the president of the Caméra d'Or Jury in Cannes Film Festival 2005. He was announced as the president of the Cinéfondation and short film sections of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.
Kiarostami directed The Wind Will Carry Us in 1999, which won the Grand Jury Prize (Silver Lion) at the Venice International Film Festival. The film contrasted rural and urban views on the dignity of labor, addressing themes of gender equality and the benefits of progress, by means of a stranger's sojourn in a remote Kurdish village. An unusual feature of the movie is that many of the characters are heard but not seen; at least thirteen to fourteen speaking characters in the film are never seen.
Kiarostami was a noted photographer and poet. A bilingual collection of more than 200 of his poems, Walking with the Wind, was published by Harvard University Press. His photographic work includes Untitled Photographs, a collection of over thirty photographs, mostly of snow landscapes, taken in his hometown Tehran, between 1978 and 2003. In 1999, he also published a collection of his poems. Kiarostami also produced Mozart's opera, Così fan tutte, which premiered in Aix-en-Provence in 2003 before being performed at the English National Opera in London in 2004.
Kiarostami has received worldwide acclaim for his work from both audiences and critics, and, in 1999, he was voted the most important Iranian film director of the 1990s by two international critics' polls. Four of his films were placed in the top six of Cinematheque Ontario's Best of the '90s poll. He has gained recognition from film theorists, critics, as well as peers such as Jean-Luc Godard, Nanni Moretti (who made a short film about opening one of Kiarostami's films in his theater in Rome), Chris Marker, and Ray Carney. Akira Kurosawa said of Kiarostami's films: "Words cannot describe my feelings about them ... When Satyajit Ray passed on, I was very depressed. But after seeing Kiarostami's films, I thanked God for giving us just the right person to take his place." Critically acclaimed directors such as Martin Scorsese have commented that "Kiarostami represents the highest level of artistry in the cinema." The Austrian director Michael Haneke has admired the work of Abbas Kiarostami as among the best of any living director. In 2006, The Guardian's panel of critics ranked Kiarostami as the best contemporary non-American film director.
In 2000, at the San Francisco Film Festival award ceremony, Kiarostami was awarded the Akira Kurosawa Prize for lifetime achievement in directing, but surprised everyone by giving it away to veteran Iranian actor Behrooz Vossoughi for his contribution to Iranian cinema.
In 2001, Kiarostami and his assistant, Seifollah Samadian, traveled to Kampala, Uganda at the request of the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development, to film a documentary about programs assisting Ugandan orphans. He stayed for ten days and made ABC Africa. The trip was originally intended as a research in preparation for the filming, but Kiarostami ended up editing the entire film from the video footage shot there. The high number of orphans in Uganda has resulted from the deaths of parents in the AIDS epidemic.
In 2003, Kiarostami directed Five, a poetic feature with no dialogue or characterization. It consists of five long shots of nature which are single-take sequences, shot with a hand-held DV camera, along the shores of the Caspian Sea. Although the film lacks a clear storyline, Geoff Andrew argues that the film is "more than just pretty pictures". He adds, "Assembled in order, they comprise a kind of abstract or emotional narrative arc, which moves evocatively from separation and solitude to community, from motion to rest, near-silence to sound and song, light to darkness and back to light again, ending on a note of rebirth and regeneration."He notes the degree of artifice concealed behind the apparent simplicity of the imagery.
Kiarostami produced 10 on Ten (2004), a journal documentary that shares ten lessons on movie-making while he drives through the locations of his past films. The movie is shot on digital video with a stationary camera mounted inside the car, in a manner reminiscent of Taste of Cherry and Ten. In 2005 and 2006, he directed The Roads of Kiarostami, a 32-minute documentary that reflects on the power of landscape, combining austere black-and-white photographs with poetic observations, engaging music with political subject matter. Also in 2005, Kiarostami contributed the central section to Tickets, a portmanteau film set on a train traveling through Italy. The other segments were directed by Ken Loach and Ermanno Olmi.
In 2005, London Film School organized a workshop as well as festival of Kiarostami's work, titled "Abbas Kiarostami: Visions of the Artist". Ben Gibson, Director of the London Film School, said, "Very few people have the creative and intellectual clarity to invent cinema from its most basic elements, from the ground up. We are very lucky to have the chance to see a master like Kiarostami thinking on his feet." He was later made Honorary Associate.
In 2007, the Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 coorganized a festival of the Kiarostami's work titled Abbas Kiarostami: Image Maker.
In 2008, Kiarostami directed the feature Shirin, which features close-ups of many notable Iranian actresses and the French actress Juliette Binoche as they watch a film based on a partly mythological Persian romance tale of Khosrow and Shirin, with themes of female self-sacrifice. The film has been described as "a compelling exploration of the relationship between image, sound and female spectatorship."
Certified Copy (2010), again starring Juliette Binoche, was made in Tuscany and was Kiarostami's first film to be shot and produced outside Iran. The story of an encounter between a British man and a French woman, it was entered in competition for the Palme d'Or in the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian describes the film as an "intriguing oddity", and said, "Certified Copy is the deconstructed portrait of a marriage, acted with well-intentioned fervour by Juliette Binoche, but persistently baffling, contrived, and often simply bizarre – a highbrow misfire of the most peculiar sort." He concluded that the film is "unmistakably an example of Kiarostami's compositional technique, though not a successful example." Roger Ebert, however, praised the film, noting that "Kiarostami is rather brilliant in the way he creates offscreen spaces." Binoche won the Best Actress Award at Cannes for her performance in the film. Kiarostami's penultimate film, Like Someone in Love, set and shot in Japan, received largely positive reviews from critics.
Kiarostami's three volumes of original verse, plus his selections from classical and contemporary Persian poets, including Nima, Hafez, Rumi and Saadi, were translated into English in 2015 and were published in bilingual (Persian/English) editions by Sticking Place Books in New York.
In March 2016, Kiarostami was hospitalized due to intestinal bleeding and reportedly went into a coma after undergoing two operations. Sources, including a Ministry of Health and Medical Education spokesman, reported that Kiarostami was suffering from gastrointestinal cancer. On 3 April 2016, Reza Paydar, the director of Kiarostami's medical team, made a statement denying that the filmmaker had cancer. However, in late June he left Iran for treatment in a Paris hospital, where he died on 4 July 2016. The week before his death, Kiarostami had been invited to join the Academy Awards in Hollywood as part of efforts to increase the diversity of its Oscar judges. Ali Ahani, Iran's ambassador to France stated that Kiarostami's body would be transferred to Iran to be buried at Behesht-e Zahra cemetery. However, it was later announced that his body would be buried in Lavasan, a resort town about 40 km (25 mi) northeast of Tehran, based on his own will, after it is flown back to Tehran from Paris. His body was returned to Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport on 8 July 2016, while a crowd of Iranian film directors, actors, actresses and other artists were in Tehran airport to pay their respects.
Mohammad Shirvani, a fellow filmmaker and close friend, quoted Kiarostami on his Facebook wall 8 June 2016: "I do not believe I could stand and direct any more films. They [the medical team] destroyed it [his digestive system]." After this comment, a campaign was set up by Iranians on both Twitter and Facebook to investigate the possibility of medical error during Kiarostami's procedure. However, Ahmad Kiarostami, his eldest son, denied any medical error in his father's treatment after Shirvani's comment and said that his father's health was no cause for alarm. After Kiarostami's death, Head of the Iranian Medical Council Dr. Alireza Zali sent a letter to his French counterpart, Patrick Bouet, urging him to send Kiarostami's medical file to Iran for further investigation. Nine days after Kiarostami's death, on 13 July 2016, his family issued a formal complaint of medical maltreatment through Kiarostami's personal doctor. Dariush Mehrjui, famous Iranian cinema director also criticized the medical team that treated Kiarostami and demanded legal action.
Kiarostami's final film 24 Frames was released posthumously in 2017. An experimental film based on 24 of Kiarostami's still photographs, 24 Frames enjoyed a highly positive critical reception, with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 92%.
Currently, Abbas Kiarostami is 82 years, 0 months and 7 days old. Abbas Kiarostami will celebrate 83rd birthday on a Thursday 22nd of June 2023.
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