Abbas Kiarostami (June 22, 1940 - July 4, 2016) Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze
Composer Grégoire Hetzel (Catherine Corsini's Summertime, Anne Fontaine's The Innocents, Arnaud Desplechin's My Golden Days), filmmaker Roberto Andò (The Confessions, Long Live Freedom), and cinematographer Ed Lachman (Todd Solondz' Wiener-Dog, Todd Haynes' Carol and Far From Heaven) salute Abbas Kiarostami, who passed away in Paris on Monday, July 4, 2016.
Abbas Kiarostami's final film, Like Someone In Love, was screened at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, where in 1997 he shared Palme d'Or honours for Taste of Cherry with Shohei Imamura's The Eel.
Grégoire Hetzel: "Kiarostami forced entry into my childhood memories by retrospective invasion." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze
Grégoire Hetzel, Roberto Andò and Ed Lachman remember Abbas Kiarostami:
"Kiarostami is one of my most beloved filmmakers. On hearing the news of his loss, I was instantly reminded that his films like The Traveler, Homework, Where is the Friend's Home? accompanied me throughout my childhood. I loved them so deeply it seemed that I lived inside them like a succession of childhood homes where Kiarostami "raised" me - he had as much importance in my upbringing as my parents.
Later his films regularly reappeared in my thoughts and conversations. With all the others that I had discovered during my youth, Through the Olive Trees, Close-Up, and later in Cannes when I started to compose for films, Taste of Cherry and Ten (Ten, an irrefutable lesson that a masterpiece can be created with only a few thousand Euros).
When I heard the news of his death, I called a dear friend, a friend of his who had introduced us in the Nineties in Salonique [Thessaloniki]. I was telling her that Kiarostami was one of the artists who had shaken up my childhood when she promptly replied that I was utterly mistaken. I could not have seen his early work as a child as he was known quite late on in France and that she remembered well having introduced me to his films when I was 20.
Roberto Andò on Abbas Kiarostami: "He was a great poet and we don't have so many." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze
I understood: Kiarostami forced entry into my childhood memories by retrospective invasion. This is his strength. His films reunite such powerful simplicity and intelligence, poetry and philosophy, concept and sensitivity, ethic and aesthetic, slowness and depth that the memory of their spectators can become contaminated, the child heroes seize our own youth, our own upbringing …. In other words: we lost a genius" - Grégoire Hetzel
"I met Abbas Kiarostami only once in Rome during the opening of the movie [Tickets in 2005] he realized with Ermanno Olmi and Ken Loach. I was there with Francesco Rosi and we had the privilege to talk with him and to drink a coffee in a atmosphere of relax and friendship. He was a great poet and we don't have so many." - Roberto Andò
"Abbas was a poet of images in Haiku, a man that found a state of humanism in our marginalised lives. I will feel his loss in cinema and as a friend." - Ed Lachman
Read Richard Peña, Atom Egoyan, Fabien Constant, Dominik Graf and Anne-Katrin Titze's tributes to Abbas Kiarostami.