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Distinguished Iranian Film Director Abbas Kiarostami Speaks at Bard on March 4

“His cinema is the vision of life on earth, certainty in the real, a celebration of the transitory,
the festive embracing of being-toward-now.”

—Hamid Dabashi, author, Close Up: Iranian Cinema: Past, Present, and Future

Emily M. Darrow
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Distinguished Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami visits the United States on the occasion of a major retrospective of his films at the Museum of Modern Art and an exhibition of his photography at P.S.1 in New York City. The Film and Electronic Arts Program at Bard College is honored to host one of the few public appearances he will make during his visit. Free and open to the public, the program on Sunday, March 4, begins with a screening of Kiarostami’s Five: Dedicated to Ozu at 12:30 p.m., followed by a discussion at 2:00 p.m., between Kiarostami and film historian Scott MacDonald, professor of film at Hamilton College. Questions from the audience are interspersed with the projection of clips and a short film by Kiarostami. The presentation is held in the theater of the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Center at Bard College. A reception follows the program. In addition, select Kiarostami films are screened in the Avery Arts Center Theater at 7:00 and 9:00 p.m. on Wednesdays, February 21 and February 28, and Thursday, March 1. The films are introduced by John Pruitt, associate professor of film at Bard, and are free and open to the public. For details, call. “Widely recognized as one of the most influential directors in the world, and one of the founders of the Iranian New Wave in the 1970s, Abbas Kiarostami makes films that play with the relationship between documentary and fiction, that lead the viewer to discover the reality underlying the fictional, and that show us aspects of life and of filmmaking that widen our understanding of both,” says Peggy Ahwesh, associate professor of film and electronic arts at Bard. Born in Tehran in 1940, Kiarostami attended Tehran University Art College. He founded the Cinema Department at the Institute of the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (Kanoun) in 1969, which became one of Iran’s most prestigious studios where directors such as Amir Naderi, Bahram Beyzai, Dariush Mehrjui, Ebrahim Forozesh, Jafar Panahi, and Sobrah Saless made films. Kiarostami’s first short film is The Bread and Alley (1970); his first feature-length film is The Traveler (1974). In 1992, he was awarded the Rossellini Prize in Cannes. UNESCO honored Kiarostami with the prestigious Fellini Medal in November 1997. He received the Palme d’Or at Cannes for Taste of Cherry in 1997, the Jury Grand Prize at the Venice Film Festival for The Wind Will Carry Us in 1999, the Akira Kurosawa Lifetime Achievement Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival in 2000, and the Premium Imperial Award in Japan in 2004. In January 2003, Kiarostami was appointed Officier des Arts et des Lettres by the French government for outstanding achievement in the arts. A collection of Kiarostami’s poems, Walking With the Wind, was published by Harvard University Press in 2002, followed by A Wolf Lying in Wait, published in 2005 by Farzan Publishing, and Hafiz According to Abbas Kiarostami in 2006 by Farzan Publishing. He also directed his first play, Ta’ziye, for Teatro di Roma in 2003. Abbas Kiarostami has produced four photographic series: Roads (1978–2003), Snow White (1978–2003), Trees and Crows (2006) and Rain (2006–2007), and four video projections: Sleepers (2001), Ten Minutes Older (2003), Summer Afternoon (2006), and Rug (2006). Scott MacDonald, moderator of the March 4 program at Bard, earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Florida. He has been a visiting professor of film and electronic arts at Bard College and a scholar at the University of Arizona. MacDonald has edited and written many books and essays on film, including Cinema 16: Documents toward a History of the Film Society (2002), A Critical Cinema 4: Interviews with Independent Filmmakers (2004), and The Garden in the Machine: A Field Guide to Independent Films about Place (2001). He has also published essays and book chapters in Film Quarterly, Afterimage, Journal of Film, and Video and Film Criticism. The Film and Electronic Arts Program at Bard acknowledges, with special thanks, the work of Maryam Horri of the Iranian Art Foundation and Jytte Jensen, curator of film, Museum of Modern Art, in arranging this visit by Kiarostami. Thanks also to the Green Film Festival in Seoul for the use of the image of Abbas Kiarostami. For further information, call. # SELECTED FILMOGRAPHY OF ABBAS KIAROSTAMI 1974 — The Traveler (Mossafer) 1987 — Where Is my Friend’s Home? (Kaneh-yedoust kojast?) 1990 — Close-Up (Nema-ye Nazdik) 1992 — Life and Nothing More... (Zendegi edame darad) 1994 — Through the Olive Trees (Zir-ederakthan-ezeytoun) 1997 — Taste of Cherry (Tam’e Guilass) 1999 — The Wind Will Carry Us (Baadmara khahad bord) 2001 — ABC Africa 2002 — TEN 2003 — Five Dedicated to Ozu 2004 — 10 on Ten # # # (2.9.2007)

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This event was last updated on 03-07-2007