Arts Film Preview Singapore

Film Fanatic: Asian Film Archive presents retrospective on Abbas Kiarostami

Photo Credit: AFA

The Asian Film Archive is set to present a two-month programme featuring films by Iranian auteur, Abbas Kiarostami.

Playing from 10th July to 28th August 2021, Retrospective: Abbas Kiarostami will feature 34 films by one of cinema’s most influential masters – almost entirely in new 2K and 4K restorations for the first time in Asia. Kiarostami (1940 – 2016) had graced the world with his powerful and imaginative films throughout a nearly five-decade career. Marked by intimacy and a poetic voice, his cinema invokes introspection and a thoughtful exploration of the boundary between fiction and reality, encouraging audiences to discover new ways of looking at the world.

A total of 18 feature films, 4 short features and 12 short films will be showcased over the course of the programme This includes renowned works such as Close-up (1990) and Palme d’Or-winning Taste of Cherry (1997), as well as rarely-seen early short films made during pre-revolution Iran.

Taste of Cherry

Taste of Cherry (Iran, 1997) marks the first Iranian film to win the Palme d’Or at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival, Taste of Cherry is an austere and emotionally complex meditation on life and death. It is one of Kiarostami’s most beloved works.

Close-up

Close-up (Iran, 1990) is often cited as a film most representative of Kiarostami’s oeuvre, and is a fiction documentary hybrid exploring identity and artistic creation through the confounding real-life trial of a young man who impersonated prominent Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf. It is ranked among the 50 greatest films of all time by Sight & Sound magazine.

Certified Copy

Certified Copy (France, 2010) marks Kiarostami’s first fiction film made outside of Iran, and stars famed French actress Juliette Binoche as an antiques dealer whose relationship with a British writer undergoes an odd transformation over the course of a day in Tuscany. Binoche’s mesmerising performance won her the Best Actress Award at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.

Bread and Alley

Retrospective: Abbas Kiarostami also presents a rare collection of 2K-restored short films and short features, including Kiarostami’s debut work Bread and Alley (1970). Many of these films were produced with government backing in pre-Revolution Iran, as commissioned didactics for the youth. Some highlights include Tribute to the Teachers (1977)Two Solutions For One Problem (1975) and Case No. 1, Case No. 2 (1979), which were set in schools. They reveal a thread of contrasting views that express Kiarostami’s fascination with education alongside his reservations about how it was practiced in Iran.

Retrospective: Abbas Kiarostami will run from 10th July to 28th August 2021 at Oldham Theatre, National Archives of Singapore Building. More information can be found here.

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