Saturday, October 24, 2009
Abbas Kiarostami in Chicago:
A Kiarostami film will play on a big screen in Chicago for the first time since 2002, and I can think of nothing more important happening this weekend. I had hoped to have a decent length post up by now pontificating on the state of Kiarostami's reputation, as well as the factors that have led to its decline. Like some who believe that Orson Welles was a failed Hollywood director, as opposed to a successful independent director, there are some who treat Kiarostami as a failed narrative filmmaker, as opposed to a successful experimental filmmaker. His newest film, Shirin, plays as part of a double bill with his last 'commercial' feature, Ten at The Gene Siskel Film Center. David Bordwell has some nice things to say about Kiarostami and Shirin here, and my good friend Ben Sachs has got an intelligent appreciation over at the CINE-FILE. Kudos also to the Chicago Reader for giving a surprising amount of space to Rosenbaum and Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa's conversation on Shirin. One might consider it a brief addendum to the book length study of Kiarostami that they co-authored 2003, which remains, to the best of my knowledge, the only one of its kind in English. So go and see Shirin this weekend, and then come back here so we can talk about it.