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Aero Theatre
1328 Montana Avenue,
Santa Monica, CA 90403 Map
Thu, Aug 8, 2019 - Sun, Aug 11, 2019
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Among the most revered filmmakers of the Iranian New Wave, Abbas Kiarostami (1940-2016) took a circuitous route into cinema: He studied graphic design at the University of Tehran College of Fine Arts, which led him to creating posters, TV advertising and art for children’s books. While working at the city’s Institute for Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults, he helped launch its filmmaking department, for which he made his first shorts. The youthful protagonists and blending of documentary and fiction that can be seen in later work were already visible in such shorts as “Two Solutions for One Problem” and “So Can I.”

Kiarostami’s oeuvre is also frequently self-referential, and his “Koker trilogy” demonstrates his ability to find new meanings as he revisits themes and situations. All set in the northern Iranian village of Koker, WHERE IS THE FRIEND’S HOUSE? traces a boy’s attempt to return a classmate’s notebook, AND LIFE GOES ON checks in on the first film’s cast after a devastating earthquake and THROUGH THE OLIVE TREES expands upon a relationship glimpsed in the second film.

The 1990s brought Kiarostami to international attention. CLOSE-UP, which re-creates a real-life case in which a film fan impersonates an Iranian director and is tried for fraud, was released throughout Europe and earned acclaim among both critics and fellow filmmakers (the latest Sight & Sound poll ranks it among the 50 greatest films of all time). His profile of a man bent on suicide, TASTE OF CHERRY, won the Palme d'Or at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival. THE WIND WILL CARRY US received the Grand Special Jury Prize at the 1999 Venice Film Festival.

Though his Iranian roots and love of Persian culture remained strong, Kiarostami never felt confined by them. Both CERTIFIED COPY and LIKE SOMEONE IN LOVE were international productions, shot in Italy and Japan, respectively. He embraced digital cinema, which made the dashboard-cam sequences of TEN possible. Kiarostami’s final feature, 24 FRAMES, applies digital animation techniques to bring 24 still photos to life. It offers another taste of the enigmatic blend of poetry and reality seen in so much of this master filmmaker’s work.

Series compiled by Chris LeMaire. Program notes by Ben Simington and John Hagelston.

Introduction to LIKE SOMEONE IN LOVE by the director's son, Ahmad Kiarostami.
Aero TheatreThu, Aug 8, 2019 - Sun, Aug 11, 2019
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Films in this Series at the Aero

Ahmad Kiarostami In Person!
Thu, Aug 8, 2019 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre
Fri, Aug 9, 2019 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre
Sat, Aug 10, 2019 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre
The Koker Trilogy!
Sun, Aug 11, 2019 - 2:00pm
Aero Theatre