Three years after Palme d’Or-winning Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami passed away at the age of 76, Janus Films is rolling out a wide-ranging and lovingly designed touring retrospective of some of his seminal works. The new retrospective includes restorations of The Koker Trilogy (“Where Is the Friend’s House?,” “And Life Goes On,” and “Through the Olive Trees”), plus features like “Close-Up,” “Taste of Cherry,” “Shirin,” “24 Frames,” “ABC Africa,” “The Wind Will Carry Us,” “Ten,” and “Five.”
The new restorations were undertaken by the Criterion Collection and mk2 with contributions by Kiarostami’s son, Ahmad Kiarostami.
Born in 1940 in Tehran, the filmmaker first studied painting at the University of Tehran; later, he worked as a graphic designer and commercial director. Kiarostami credited a job in the film department at Kanun (the Centre for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults) for shaping him into a filmmaker.
He made his first feature, “The Report,” in 1977, just two years before the 1979 revolution that saw so many of his creative peers leave the country. Kiarostami, however, stayed and continued to create even under the constraints of the new regime.
In 1997, he won the Palme d’Or for “Taste of Cherry,” which elevated the director to a new level of recognition that he had scarcely had in his already decades-long career. Kiarostami was honored with awards as diverse as three more Palme d’Or nominations, an Indie Spirit nomination, Locarno’s Leopard of Honor, and a Grand Special Jury Prize from the Venice Film Festival for his 1999 film “The Wind Will Carry Us.”
Recently, Kiarostami’s 2010 gem “Certified Copy” was named to IndieWire’s 100 Best Movies of the Decade list, where it clocked in at number three.
Thanks to Janus Films, fans of the filmmaker will also get to watch a number of his short features, including “Experience,” “First Graders,” “The Traveler,” “A Wedding Suit,” “The Report,” “Case No. 1 Case No. 2,” “Fellow Citizen,” and “Homework.” That’s hardly all, however, as Janus as also prepped a batch of Kiarostami’s shorts, including “The Bread and Alley,” “Breaktime,” “So Can I,” “Two Solutions for One Problem,” “The Colors,” “How to Make Use of Leisure Time,” “Tribute to Teachers,” “Solution,” “Toothache,” “Orderly or Disorderly,” and “The Chorus.”
“Abbas Kiarostami: A Retrospective” will open at IFC Center in New York on July 26 and will then roll out nationwide, including dates in Philadelphia, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
Check out IndieWire’s exclusive trailer for Janus Films’ Abbas Kiarostami retrospective below.