As a filmmaking icon as well as a filmmaker, Abbas Kiarostami occupies two prominent positions: a central figure in Iran's celebrated and multigenerational cinema movement, and one of a handful of supreme masters in that more rarefied, rootless milieu called "world cinema." This straddling, dual status is not all that arbitrary: while Kiarostami's aesthetic is heavily indebted to indigenous influences (perhaps Persian modernist poetry and the groundbreaking work of his late contemporary Sohrab Shahid-Saless in particular), he's also famously influenced (like other Iranian filmmakers) by Italian neorealism and France's nouvelle vague. Robert Avila reports.