A lecture by Zara Abdullaeva: Abbas Kiarostami. Intermediate Cinema

Film critic Zara Abdullayeva will talk about the flickering dialogue between feature and documentary film in the work of Abbas Kiarostami.

Abbas Kiarostami confuses the viewer by shooting half-documentary half-feature films. In fact, the Iranian director problematizes this opposition by rejecting the preference of one method over the other. The addiction to making films in films is both Kiarostami’s mania and optics, allowing him to capture the “real” reality eluding our gaze.

It is cinema that becomes a way of identifying its characters, which the repressive Iranian reality does not imply. Kiarostami creates an ambiguous, double cinematic reality—conditionally documentary and unconditionally fictional. A dialogue between the visible and the unseen, the reconstruction of events and pseudo-reportage, between copy and the original is permanently maintained (or rather, flickers) in his pictures.

Along with football, cinema in Iran is almost sacred. Kiarostami’s cinematography tests this circumstance through experimentations with form, narrative, and image.