Cinefiles mourned this weekend when news spread that award-winning Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami passed away on July 4, 2016 after undergoing treatments for gastrointestinal cancer. Just last week, Kiarostami was among 683 film-makers asked to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, an honor that many felt was a long time coming for the internationally-respected filmmaker who had won over 70 awrds including the Palme d’Or for 1997’s “The Taste of Cherry.”
Part of a generation of filmmakers that represented the Iranian New Wave of the late ’60s, Kiarostami was a prolific director who had been involved in over 40 films.
Oscar-winning director Asghar Farhadi (“A Separation“) paid tribute to his friend: “He wasn’t just a film-maker. He was a modern mystic, both in his cinema and his private life…. He definitely paved ways for others and influenced a great deal of people. It’s not just the world of cinema that has lost a great man; the whole world has lost someone really great.”
“At a time of war and isolation, when the whole world thought we are a warmongering country, Kiarostami showed another, peaceful face of Iran,” the professor and journalist Mehrdad Hodjati said, according to The New York Times. “He is an icon of change in Iran.”
For those who wish to revisit some of his great works, two of Kiarostami’s films are currently available for viewing on XFINITY:
The first film he made outside Iran, 2010’s “Certified Copy,” which was set in Tuscany – “Abbas Kiarostami directed this drama chronicling the intense bond between a British author (William Shimell) and an art-gallery owner (Juliette Binoche) during their stay in Tuscany. Although it appears they have met by chance, there may be more to the relationship than meets the eye.”
As well as his very last film, 2012’s “Like Someone in Love,” which was set in Japan: “A brainteaser about a case of willful mistaken identity between a prostitute and her client that is sure to inspire debate.”