THROUGH THE OLIVE TREES
ZIRE DARAKHATAN ZEYTON
1994, Janus Films, 103 min, Iran/France, Dir: Abbas Kiarostami

Kiarostami takes meta-narrative gamesmanship to masterful new heights in the final installment of his celebrated Koker trilogy. Unfolding “behind the scenes” of the shooting of the previous film in the series, AND LIFE GOES ON, THROUGH THE OLIVE TREES traces the complications that arise when the romantic misfortune of one of the actors - a lovelorn young man who pines for the woman cast as his wife even though, in real life, she will have nothing to do with him - creates turmoil on set and leaves the hapless director caught in the middle. An ineffably lovely, gentle human comedy steeped in the folkways of Iranian village life, this Pirandellian pastoral peels away layer after layer of artifice as it investigates the elusive, alchemical relationship between cinema and reality.


THE WIND WILL CARRY US
BAD MA RA KHAHAD BORD
1999, Janus Films, 118 min, Iran/France, Dir: Abbas Kiarostami

Palme d’Or-winning director Abbas Kiarostami’s acclaimed film documents the arrival of an engineer and his colleagues from Tehran in a remote village in Iranian Kurdistan. Assumed by the locals with whom they form an ambivalent relationship to be archaeologists or telecom engineers, the visitors’ behavior and keen interest in the health of an ailing old woman appear strange and their true motives are shrouded in mystery. Visually stunning, THE WIND WILL CARRY US is an absorbing meditation on life and death and the divisions between tradition and modernity; it stands among Kiarostami's best.


TEN
DAH
2002, Janus Films, 94 min, Iran/France, Dir: Abbas Kiarostami

A feminine response to the male-dominated TASTE OF CHERRY, this deceptively simple drama features Mania Akbari as a woman who drives through the streets of Tehran over a period of several days, having 10 conversations with various passengers in a space both private and public. As Kiarostami's “dashboard-cam” eavesdrops on these lively, heart-wrenching road trips, a complex portrait of contemporary Iran comes sharply into focus. “In addition to being perhaps the most internationally admired Iranian filmmaker of the past decade, [Kiarostami] is also among the world masters of automotive cinema. ... He understands the automobile as a place of reflection, observation and, above all, talk.” - A.O. Scott, The New York Times.


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