Abbas Kiarostami (22 June 1940 – 4 July 2016) (Persian: عباس کیارستمی) was an Iranian film director, screenwriter, photographer and film producer.
- To be international, you have to first be local. ... When you take a tree that is rooted in the ground, and transfer it from one place to another, the tree will no longer bear fruit. And if it does, the fruit will not be as good as it was in its original place. This is a rule of nature. I think if I had left my country, I would be the same as the tree.
- The calling of art is to extract us from our daily reality, to bring us to a hidden truth that's difficult to access - to a level that's not material but spiritual.
- I feel like a tree. A tree doesn't feel a duty to start doing something about the earth from which it comes. A tree just has to bear fruit, and leaves and blossoms. It doesn't feel grateful to the earth.
- From my very first movie, what was my concentration, my inspiration, was I didn't want to narrate something, I didn't want to tell a story. I wanted to show something, I wanted for them to make their own story from what they were seeing.
- Believe me, I am still very surprised that I managed to make that film [Close-Up]. When I actually look back on that film, I really feel that I was not the director but instead just a member of the audience. Because the film made itself, to a large extent. The characters involved were very real, I wasn't directing the actors so much as being directed by them. So it was a very particular film.
- My films have been progressing towards a certain kind of minimalism, even though it was never intended. Elements which can be eliminated have been eliminated. This was pointed out to me by somebody who referred to the paintings of Rembrandt and his use of light: some elements are highlighted while others are obscured or even pushed back into the dark. And it's something that we do - we bring out elements that we want to emphasise. I'm not claiming or denying that I have done such a thing but I do believe in [Robert] Bresson's method of creation through omission, not through addition.
Quotes about Abbas Kiarostami
- Film begins with DW Griffith and ends with Abbas Kiarostami.
- Kiarostami represents the highest level of artistry in the cinema.
- Kiarostami gave the Iranian cinema the international credibility that it has today. ... But his films were unfortunately not seen as much in Iran. He changed the world's cinema; he freshened it and humanised it in contrast with Hollywood's rough version.
- He was one of those rare artists with a special knowledge of the world, put into words by the great Jean Renoir: ‘Reality is always magic.’ For me, that statement sums up Kiarostami’s extraordinary body of work. Some refer to his pictures as ‘minimal’ or ‘minimalist,’ but it’s actually the opposite: every scene in Taste of Cherry or Where Is the Friend’s House? is overflowing with beauty and surprise, patiently and exquisitely captured. I got to know Abbas over the last 10 or 15 years. He was a very special human being: quiet, elegant, modest, articulate, and quite observant – I don’t think he missed anything. Our paths crossed too seldom, and I was always glad when they did. He was a true gentleman, and, truly, one of our great artists.