The Cherry Tree Carried By The Wind, Abbas Kiarostami

Abbas Kiarostami

Abbas Kiarostami (Iranian, 1940) was a screenwriter, film producer, and photographer who is most recognised for his work as a film director. Kiarostami, who was born in Tehran, Iran, began his artistic career by painting, winning a painting competition when he was 18 years old. He studied at Tehran’s University of Fine Arts and supported himself by working as a traffic cop. He worked as a painter, designer, and illustrator in advertising in the 1960s. He made movie credit titles and drew children’s books in the late 1960s. The Iranian Nouvelle Vague first appeared on the art scene in 1969. In the same year, Kiarostami’s and Ebrahim Forouzesh collaborated on DIIDCYA (Kanun)

Iran. Iran established an Islamic republic in 1979, and it sought to create a unique national genre, a pure cinema free of Occidental influences. Despite the political climate, Kiarostami chose to remain in Iran, directing short films for the Kanun. After being banned from Iran for a year, Kiarostami’s film Taste of Cherry was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1997, tied with Eel by Shohei Imamura. Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, and Werner Herzog, to name a few, have praised his film Close-Up.

Kiarostami started producing internationally in the mid-1990s. For The Journey and the White Balloon, he wrote scripts for Jafar Panahi, his former assistant. Kiarostami employs poetry, painting, and photography to express himself, as do Ridley Scott, Jean Cocteau, and Pier Paolo Pasolini. Between 1978 and 2003, he published Untitled Photographs, a collection of 30 photographs of Tehran in the snow, sandwiched between two collections of poetry.UNESCO’s Federico Fellini Gold Medal (1997), the Akira Kurosawa Award (2000), and the Fellowship of the British Film Institute were among the honours bestowed upon the artist (2005).

Sadly, the legendary artist departed off of this world after a long-fought bout with Cancer on the 4th of July, 2016.

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