Fishing from the same stream: the new Iranian cinema, close-up and the "film-on-film" genre

Danks, A 2009, 'Fishing from the same stream: the new Iranian cinema, close-up and the "film-on-film" genre', Screening the Past, vol. 26, pp. 1-11.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Fishing from the same stream: the new Iranian cinema, close-up and the "film-on-film" genre
Author(s) Danks, A
Year 2009
Journal name Screening the Past
Volume number 26
Start page 1
End page 11
Total pages 11
Publisher Latrobe University
Abstract Abbas Kiarostami's cinema has been rightly discussed as a 'cinema of questions'[3]. It is a formally rigorous but open cinema that allows a considerable degree of audience activity and interpretation. When watching a Kiarostami film we often ask about, and notice, the function and composition of particular frames (often due to the self-conscious composition of a frame-within-the-frame), particular shot choices and of more philosophical or metaphysical dimensions like ethics and duration. His cinema is commonly contemplative in nature, giving us time and drawing heavily on rearranged and carefully framed fragments or slices of everyday life. These particular qualities have been present in Kiarostami's work since 1970, when he first started making films for the Centre for the Intellectual Development of Young Children and Adults. Kiarostami's work, at least until the last decade, is remarkable for its consistency across different periods of Iranian cultural, political and religious history, and the various regime and ideological changes associated with each. He has always moved between documentary and fiction, often blurring clear distinctions between each in a single work. Although some of his films were shown outside of Iran in the 1970s, his international reputation only gathered steam in the late 1980s, roughly coinciding with his move into what might be considered a more self-conscious phase of his career, a phase that incorporates the first film in what is often called the 'Koker' trilogy, Where is the Friend's House? (Iran 1987),and Close-Up (Iran 1990). Kiarostami's work within this realm includes a number of films that focus on the act of filmmaking and the broader film culture, providing an important impetus and influential example for what became a significant indigenous genre of the 'new' Iranian cinema.
Subject Cinema Studies
Keyword(s) Iranian cinema
Kiarostami
reflexivity
film-on-film
authorship
realism
film history
Copyright notice © 2009 the Editors
ISSN 1328-9756
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