The Roads of Kiarostami
June 9, 2006 3:33 AM   Subscribe

Shifting between motion and stasis, he shows a man on a horse, a scarecrow, a dog, another dog seen closer, then even closer as it faces the still camera in the last shot. Superimposed over this still photo is the orange red blast of an atomic bomb and its mushroom cloud—the first appearance of color in the film. The photo catches fire, and the image of the dog is slowly devoured by flames. As the photo turns into ashes, a prayer from the Shiite text Nahjulbalagha appears alongside it in English: “Dear Lord, give us rain from tame, obedient clouds and not from dense and fiery clouds which summon death. Amen.”
In "The Roads of Kiarostami", his latest short film (.pdf), Iranian maestro Abbas Kiarostami begins with his landscape photographs and ends with apocalypse. more inside
posted by matteo (16 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Kiarostami biography and interview

hi-res photo from "Roads" here

other stills here and here

Kiarostami in MeFi, and another Kiarostami-related post
posted by matteo at 3:37 AM on June 9, 2006


the quote that opens this post comes from the Rosenbaum review, linked in "ends with apocalypse"
posted by matteo at 3:39 AM on June 9, 2006


*shifts between motion and stasis*
posted by quonsar at 4:26 AM on June 9, 2006


I had to put with years of awe-struck wittering about Kiarostami from film critic/buff pals before I saw his work, and was stunned to find that he's underrated, despite the massive amounts of hype around him and Iranian cinema in general (the entire Makhmalbaf family, are the same, for example.)
posted by jack_mo at 4:30 AM on June 9, 2006


(Er, the same as in 'even better than you expect them to be'. Not a family of identical quintuplets.)
posted by jack_mo at 4:32 AM on June 9, 2006


Ansel Akbhar !
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:50 AM on June 9, 2006


Ansel Akbhar !

yeah. but really I'm thinking more of Giacomelli's hi-contrast landscapes.

*shifts between motion and stasis*

just dont' catch fire like the little dog while you're shifting!

posted by matteo at 5:43 AM on June 9, 2006


Superimposed over this still photo is the orange red blast of an atomic bomb and its mushroom cloud—the first appearance of color in the film. The photo catches fire, and the image of the dog is slowly devoured by flames.

This reminded me immediately of the video works of David Phillips and Paul Rowley, specifically Motion Test and Condensate.

The second video is interesting specifically in how photos — memories — melt away in the annihilation. Not only are the living killed, but all traces of their past, who they loved, where they lived, are atomized. Powerful stuff, simply presented.
posted by Mr. Six at 5:59 AM on June 9, 2006


Ah, yes; rising phoenix from scorched landscape like a superhero of penance. Very meta.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:27 AM on June 9, 2006


But good links and stuff, as always, of course.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:34 AM on June 9, 2006


Don't be a jerk. Kiarostami is only "lesser known" if you know nothing about cinema, in which case, why are you even in this thread? And if you find posts with words like "superimposed" and "apocalypse" pretentious, perhaps you'd be happier elsewhere. Me, I'm always glad to see Kia given the props he deserves. (I was at Lincoln Center a few years ago for an Iranian film festival when it was announced that the US hadn't let him into the country to attend; the entire audience rose and booed as one. What idiots we have running this country.)
posted by languagehat at 7:35 AM on June 9, 2006


I find his work somewhat inscrutable at times, but always completely absorbing. Great post. I remember that film fest thing, languagehat. Totally ridiculous (as is calling this post pretentious).
posted by blendor at 8:22 AM on June 9, 2006


Don't be a jerk.

?
posted by Mr. Six at 8:48 AM on June 9, 2006


Gilberto Perez on Kiarostami
posted by kensanway at 9:08 AM on June 9, 2006


?

The jerky comment seems to have been removed.
posted by languagehat at 10:10 AM on June 9, 2006


And now it looks like LH is telling me not to be a jerk.

Fuck comment deletion.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:16 PM on June 9, 2006


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