FROM A CORRESPONDENT
SILCHAR, Aug 22: The sad demise of the legendary Iranian filmmaker, Abbas Kiarostami, on July 4, 2016, has left a void in the realm of world cinema. In order to pay tribute to this legendary filmmaker, Beekshan Film Commune, Silchar, organized a one-day retrospective of Kiarostami on Sunday at Sangeet Vidyalaya Hall, Park Road of this town. The daylong programme began with an introductory lecture on Kiarostami and his works by Bishwajit Sheel, a noted film persolity and documentary filmmaker of this region. In his speech, Sheel pointed out various aspects of Kiarostami’s films and discussed at length about his life.
Kiarostami worked extensively as a screenwriter, film editor, art director, producer and designed credit titles and publicity material. In addition to this, he was also a poet, photographer, painter, illustrator, and graphic designer. Kiarostami was part of a generation of filmmakers in the Iranian New Wave, a Persian cinema movement that started in the late 1960s that includes pioneering directors such as Forough Farrokhzad, Sohrab Shahid Saless, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Bahram Beizai, and Parviz Kimiavi.
The lecture session was followed by screening of a 2 hour long classic documentary based on the life and works of Abbas Kiarostami. In order to acquaint the audience with the works of Kiarostami, two of his popular films, Close-Up (Nema ye zdik, 1990, duration 98 minutes) and Taste of Cheery (Taam e Gilas, 1997, duration 95 minutes) were screened. Both the films have left indelible impression on world cinema. Mention must be made here that Jean Luc Godard, a legendary French-Swiss filmmaker once said, “Cinema begins with D W Griffith and ends with Kiarostami”.
The creative genius of Kiarostami has been aptly described by Akira Kurosawa, who along with Satyajit Ray, is regarded as one of the most important and influential filmmakers in the history of cinema. He said, “Words cannot describe my feeling about them, and I simply advice you to see his films. When Satyajit Ray passed away, I was very depressed. But, after watching Kiarostami’s films, I thanked God for giving us just the right person to take his place”.
The screening of the films was followed by an open group discussion on Kiarostami’s life and works.